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Dragonsmaze Prerelease April 27, 2013

Posted by Norm in dragonsmaze.
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In the prerelease today I chose Dimir as my guild and got Golgari as my backup pack. The Golgari was a lot stronger than the Dimir cards although most of my black removal spells came from my guild pack.

The green was better than most of my blue creatures and I had all the good scavenge guys. I’ll update with my decklist.

I went 3-1-1 on the day taking 6th out of 30 some people. The loss was to a 5 color mostly green blue fliers deck. That had red removal and drew better than me in both games. My tie was against a Boros/Izzet build that just gummed up the board.

Anyway here are the spoils of the day.



Casual Gaming August 12, 2012

Posted by Norm in Casual.


A little bit of magic while settled in for a long day of Olympic watching.

Ship Shape January 31, 2012

Posted by Norm in Casual.
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Working on getting the blog back in order and back to my first blogging love, magic.

Currently, I’m preparing for another Legacy GP and getting back into standard.

I’ve been drafting more than ever but haven’t felt the need to write about it. I love Innastrad and drafting the set is awesome. I still haven’t mastered drafting the set but now that Dark Ascension is out it’s going to be fun integrating the new cards.

The whole magic blog scene has changed a bit since I was doing a daily post. So I hope there is still room for this amateur out there.

Preparing for Grand Prix Indianapolis December 13, 2011

Posted by Norm in Legacy.
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The 2012 Pro Tour/Grand Prix schedule has been posted and I’m getting ready for Grand Prix Indianapolis now. The format is Legacy and I’m with a group I’ve been playing with for about a year now. We’ve been to Columbus and Providence recently for Legacy Grand Prix and Indy will just be another notch in the belt.

In Columbus I played Bant/Counter Top and Saito won the event with Merfolk. James Rynkiewicz won Providence with Bant playing no Force of Will, I had zero wins with Merfolk. Clearly I’ve made poor deck choices. So I’m striking out in new direction in my first round of play testing, Maverick.

GW Maverick

Creatures [27]1 Dryad Arbor
1 Eternal Witness
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Scryb Ranger
1 Terravore
2 Aven Mindcensor
2 Mirran Crusader
2 Qasali Pridemage
3 Mother of Runes
4 Knight of the Reliquary
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Stoneforge Mystic

Instants [4]

4 Swords to Plowshares

Sorceries [4]

4 Green Sun’s Zenith

Enchantments [1]1 Sylvan Library

Artifacts [3]

1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Umezawa’s Jitte

Lands [21]

1 Bojuka Bog
1 Gaea’s Cradle
1 Karakas
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Wooded Foothills
2 Forest
2 Horizon Canopy
2 Plains
3 Savannah
3 Wasteland
4 Windswept Heath

So far the deck is a lot of fun to play. It runs a lot of creatures that are personal favorites and I like how light the casting cost of the creatures and what they can grow into. You can get a turn two Knight of the Reliquary quite easily and the Stoneforge Mystic package is really an elegant toolkit (obviously). This deck isn’t ridiculously expensive either.


Reanimator was definatly a challenge. I lost most of the games and won two. This was my first matchup so I was learning about the deck and how to beat the legends. Karaks is the key in this matchup, so an early Knight is the path to victory.

Team America BUG seemed like a favorable matchup even though my playtesting battles were a little shaky. I really have a tough time against Tombstalker so getting Bojuka Bog out is important or drawing removal. I can see how the sideboard could make use of Life from the Loam and extra removal spells. Because I can just let my opponent play Brainstorm and Ponder all day while I keep removal open.

Bant Aggro was another great matchup for me. Mirran Crusaider is an all-star in this matchup. Too bad I can’t fetch with Green Sun’s Zenith. In this match I’m fighting against Stoneforge Mystic and company so it is a bit of a race to win board position.

Maverick with Blue was the last game I played. I lost a good battle when my opponent had answers to everything I played. Going first was a major advantage in this match-up.

In Retrospect

I felt that this is a solid deck choice and give most decks games. We’ll see as playtesting continues into the spring. Another deck list that looked interesting to me is this Faeries Esper list.

2010 in review January 3, 2011

Posted by Norm in Casual.

Below is the year in review email I recieved from wordpress.com. Impressive since I haven’t been posting regularly since the middle of the year.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 160,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 7 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 70 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 500 posts. There were 129 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 18mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was March 19th with 1,876 views. The most popular post that day was Scars of Mirrodin Announcement.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were wizards.com, mtg-realm.blogspot.com, en.wordpress.com, magicgameplan.com, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for sorin markov, eldrazi, nicol bolas, rise of the eldrazi, and valakut.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Scars of Mirrodin Announcement March 2010


Zendikar Spoilers – Sorin Markov Revealed August 2009


Worldwake Spoilers – Omnath, Locus of Mana January 2010


Eldrazi Spoiler – Kozilek, Butcher of Truth March 2010


52 Decks – Mono White Allies February 2010

Duel Decks: Elspeth vs Tezzeret May 27, 2010

Posted by Norm in Casual, Spoilers.
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I am up late tonight and noticed this spicy new announcement, Elspeth vs Tezzeret. Will be available in September. My only question is will these Planeswalkers be in Standard when the decks are out. Or will there be new versions of these guys in M11 or Scars of Mirrodin?

Deck Design and Development: Chris Millar, Erik Lauer, and Zac Hill
Release Date: September 3rd, 2010
MSRP: $19.99

Magic 2011 Product Spoilers May 25, 2010

Posted by Norm in Magic 2011, Spoilers.
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Found these while looking at MTG Mint Card’s blog page.

Check out the Wizard Zombies and cool Merfolk.

Grand Prix D.C. – Day 1 May 23, 2010

Posted by Norm in Tournament.

So the bad news is that I didn’t make day two of Grand Prix DC. I went 6-3 with Naya Allies, picked up my third loss in the seventh round to Bant Conscription. More on that later. We are getting ready to head back to the venue for some drafts and see the conclusion of the GP. I’ve got some video and photos but until I can put that together here are some photos.

Grand Prix DC and Casual Magic Showcase May 21, 2010

Posted by Norm in Casual, Constructed, Tournament.
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This weekend I’m excited to be participating in Grand Prix D.C. Earlier today I drove down with Eric to get a head start and take a fresh approach to the weekend. Might as well since I have a few vacation days to burn.

Traveling Generals

On the drive down we stopped in Breezewood to gas up and get a bite to eat. Eric had never been to a Hardee’s before so we stopped there for burgers. After the meal our EDH Generals showed up for a bit of rough housing.

I won the die roll and was off to a good start when Eric discarded half his library and then played, I forget the name, giving him 15 black mana for creatures in his grave yard and then bringing them all back into play. He smashed for 50+ damage on the next turn. It was a bitter defeat for my merfolk.

Next Stop Verginia

After arriving at our destination we took a few minutes to relax and then start digging into what we are playing and how we anticipate this weekend’s meta game to shape up. I’ll let you know what we are playing after the event.

Tomorrow we are going to head down to the event space and get registered and take in some casual events. What’s that, Casual Events? Yep thanks to Dream Wizards and local casual group MTG Casualties Grand Prix D.C. is host to a slew of casual events. From EDH, Standard, Draft and Peasant formats there will be tournaments and chaos matches galore. If I hadn’t taken so much time to prepare for the GP I would have loved to build a deck for some Peasant showdown.

While the casual events do cost money there is prize support and judging for them. However I’ve noticed that even though there will be judging it will be a more relaxed setting. So no game disqualifications for situation accidents or misplays. This aspect of side events is to bring causal players to the event and really make the event special for everyone.

There is a website dedicated to the casual events here. Which includes all the rules and format specs. Also visit the official Wizards GP DC page for details.

If You See Me, Say Hi

I’ll be around all weekend and if you see me please feel free to come up and say hi. I’m looking to meet a number of other players and other magic writers this weekend. So the more the merrier.

Cool Stuff Inc & Non Basic Land May 13, 2010

Posted by Norm in Casual.
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Last week I contacted by a representative from CoolStuffInc.com letting me know that they would like to give me a gift. Just for being so cool, how about that. Not exactly. In return for a blog post they would send me a gift certificate so I could review their shopping experience. Since I don’t run any ads on the site and this blog is currently 100% hobby I’m grateful for the chance to help the online Magic community out with a few perks here and there.

My gift certificate was for $30 and while I couldn’t pick up Jace or Baneslayer Angel (ya I checked just in case) I mulled over what to purchase. I didn’t have any card in particular on my buy list so it gave me a good chance to poke around the store and see what they have.

Shopping Experience

Cool Stuff Inc like most stores has everything that you would come to expect from an online retailer and more. The more is what was interesting. You can find all the unique collectable stuff that is sometimes hard to find in local shops: Duel decks, play mats, Fat Packs, and even From the Vault releases. You can pre order just about everything that has been announced by wizards including, as of right now, Scars of Morrodin and Archenemy. And finally they offer different types of card lots. Like 10 rares and a play mat, grab bags, and starter collections which I would recommend to a new player who wants to just pickup some lots. I know when I started I bought some random crap because I didn’t know where to look.

My Only Criticism

My experience was  positive, from landing on the homepage to check out. They had all the cards in stock that I wanted to get (I’ll get to that in a second) and their advanced search tool works really well. However I found the site really hard to navigate, especially since I am a first time customer. They offer so much stuff their navigation is confusing. Since I was just browsing around and wasn’t searching for specific cards I didn’t always find the links to where I wanted to go. Maybe it is the designer in me that feels this is a negative but I can imagine how someone could get lost in the sub pages. Once I spent some time on the site I was able get oriented, but I shouldn’t have to think about navigation as a user. I think Star City Games has the same user interface problems. But enough on that lets get to what I bought and why.

My Land Project

I haven’t talked about this before but this seems like a good opportunity. Sometime in 2009 I started to pickup nonbasic land. Trading for an odd piece here and there, bumming them out of peoples old school collections, and not really with any sense of purpose just the collector in me. Eventually I had enough cards to start a land binder which is when I decided to try and collect one of every nonbasic land. I’m going for play sets where I can get them but I’ve currently got a healthy amount that has a 1 inch binder full of pages. I don’t know how close I am to the goal, but I’ll count it up and give an update in a future post.

Most of what I have is commons because they are obviously the easiest to pickup. As I was browsing Cool Stuff Inc I figured why not take this chance to pickup some rare land that I’d otherwise have a harder time finding.

What Did I End Up Buying?

Going for quantity rather than quality I bought 22 cards. Here is the list:

4 – Gargoyle Castle (Magic 2010) at $.49 each
2 – Sunpetal Grove (Magic 2010) at $6.25 each
1 – Ancient Ziggurat (Conflux) at $1.25 each
1 – Contested Cliffs (Onslaught) at $.99 each
1 – Darkwater Catacombs (Odyssey) at $2.49 each
1 – Deserted Temple (Odyssey) at $1.99 each
1 – Forsaken City (Planeshift) at $.75 each
1 – Wintermoon Mesa (Prophecy) at $.49 each
1 – Shivan Gorge (Urzas Saga) at $.75 each
1 – Caldera Lake (Tempest) at $.75 each
1 – Winding Canyons (Weatherlight) at $.75 each
1 – Griffin Canyon (Visions) at $.75 each
1 – Teferi’s Isle (Mirage) at $.99 each
1 – Balduvian Trading Post (Alliances) at $.99 each
1 – Heart of Yavimaya (Alliances) at $.75 each
1 – Soldevi Excavations (Alliances) at $.65 each
1 – Halls of Mist (Ice Age) at $.49 each
1 – Safe Haven (The Dark) at $.40 each

I grabbed the Sunpetal Groves because I needed them for my play set. Otherwise I am really happy with the additions to my collection. One thing I learned is that there are a lot of really interesting abilities on some of the older lands. Since I’m relatively new to Magic I never played or saw some of those cards before.

Anyway big thanks to Cool Stuff Inc for the hookup. I hope you guys take a minute to drop by and see what they have. And if anyone wants to contribute to my land project feel free to ship me some cards.