m_hoop

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m_hoop last won the day on July 23

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About m_hoop

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  1. I think it's important, based on the awesome feedback, for me to kind of swing the spotlight back on to one of my primary points. There can be any number of 'goals' to playing magic. @Rhino pointed out quite a few, and in positive fashion. But, my original point that I may have diluted with verbosity was - you as the individual get to decide what is important to you during any given iteration of play. I think there is a population out there that would suggest that if you even consider winning to be the most important aspect of Magic, you're wrong. What's more; you should feel bad. You should not be 'in it to win it,' or care about winning when 'fun' should be the objective. I think, personally, that's garbage. Why I want to win, when, how, and the justifications; those are all mine. Just like they are yours when you make that determination. You don't have to justify it because (dirty little secret) - the importance of winning is self evident. But, if you decide winning is the most important thing (more important than 'fun' on any given night) it does not mean that's all you ever care about. You are not obligated to feel today the same way you felt yesterday. Magic is your game.
  2. Guys this is awesome stuff. Thanks so much for the response, and to Enrique for the initial idea. I think one of the big 'things' to me is that you get to make the determination about what matters on any given day. I don't feel obligated to say, 'ok, winning matters, so that's all that matters all the time.' A lot of folks have alluded to (or outright said), 'hey, it depends.' To me, that's hugely important. What I mean is; I can go to a GP having no other intent than to get the experience and play my cards for the sake of fun jankiness. Similarly, I can go to a GP with the intent to be hyper-aware and competitive. What's important to me is that when I make the decision that winning matters - in this match, event, stretch of time, whatever - it gets to matter and it's not 'wrong.' Just as well, when I make the determination that winning matters, I have to be self aware enough to know that fun is in second place and losing is probably going to hit me harder than it otherwise would. On this vein, too - I think there's a big responsibility that isn't talked about (as much) when it comes to the people that - at any given point in time - decide winning is the most important thing. I have a little ritual I do at the beginning of almost every single match I play. When my opponent hands me their deck to shuffle before we start, I shuffle, cut, and say, 'best of luck, but not too much. Don't play to raise your blood pressure.' It's goofy, sure, but it reminds me that even if I'm on the warpath of winning, I'm playing a game. I am a huge proponent of sportsmanship, so if I have remembered to check myself, I have essentially given myself permission to say, 'game face, winning matters, losing sucks.' Not saying I do this perfectly, but I think maybe if there was a little stronger of a tendency to have perspective, sportmanship, etc as a prerequisite to competitiveness, it'd be easier for some people to slip into that 'mode.'
  3. Hey guys, So, Enrique (@magonista66) posted an interesting question on twitter last night that I've been thinking about quite a bit, as of late. The actual tweet is: "Keep seeing comments about playing Magic as either fun or about winning. I think it's contextual. & when is it both? Would love ur thoughts." I think this is an awesome topic and I, too, am interested in everyone's thoughts. One of the reasons I'm personally interested is because I find an interesting paradox in my own play philosophy. I'll try to break it down coherently so as to facilitate discussion. First and foremost, Magic is a game. While games are designed to be a number of things; fun, engaging, thought provoking, evocative, adaptive - most of them (and MtG is not an exception) begin and end with the idea that there is competition, a winner and a loser. Now, why any individual chooses to get involved with any aspect of MtG is completely independent of the requirement to play. But, if you are playing, you are subject to the idea of a binary (with the exception of draws) end state. Win/lose. 0/1. Personally, I think it's important to start a conversation about 'winning' and it's merits by determining what kind of player you are. If you just like to play because it kills time, if you're an art lover that collects, if you're an investor, or a person that doesn't really need/want to return 'value' to your time/purchases - this discussion isn't really for you, right? However, if you are the kind of person that has the primary concern of gameplay, point number one is - you need to reconcile in your mind that it is OK to value winning. Pause button - Winning is important, that's the punchline. However, this assumes a certain degree of decorum, sportsmanship, and propriety with regard to the game environment. You don't have to be a part of whatever social issues, political discussions, or 'movements' that are taking place around your environment or competitor. But, you need to be respectful of them as a human. I tell my employees all the time, 'if you're having a bad day or being confronted with someone who's hostile, rude, or confrontational - retreat to professionalism, not to their level.' The same applies in MtG. Ok, back to 'play.' There will be people that say, 'oh winning isn't important,' or 'it's most important to have fun.' That's fine, but it does not take into consideration that winning (if you're a competitive player) is just flat-out more fun than losing. Ask yourself when you sleeve up a new deck you're excited to play and go to FNM and have a garbage fire of a night, let's say 0-4, did you have fun? Maybe. But, if we're being honest and you enjoy competitive play, would you have had more fun going 3-1 or 4-0? Probably, right? You should never feel bad about that truth. It's the nature of competition. It's why there is a GP, PPTQ, and PT circuit. Without winning there should be no aspiration to get there. Second thing; I would argue that fun is subjective and dependent on a wide variety of factors unique to the individual - experience level, for example. If you take someone fresh off the street and plop them down in their very first FNM - wait, actually, let's assume you gave them some training first. Let's assume you're a decent teacher and managed to get them excited about playing MtG. Now, first FNM. They bomb. 1-3. Maybe 0-4. Did they have fun? Maybe. Maybe not. I offer that winning is far less subjective. It is, or it isn't. There's no, 'I kinda won.' I think this point is valuable to those players who are trying to search for more out of their MtG experience than, 'I just want to go have fun.' That brings me to point number three - how long can it be 'fun' absent winning (but not considering losing)? I've been playing MtG (off and on, like most) for a really long time. And, if I really get down to brass tacks, there are a few things that, ones cards start getting shuffled, help with interest. One, obviously, is a winning record. Getting to 0.500 or above is nice. It keeps me (personally) chugging along and motivated to keep playing. But, there's also the idea of playing other formats, playing in different venues, and having peripheral involvement with MtG (deckbuilding, collecting, etc.). I can say this from experience; the primary reason to get into or stay into magic of any variety is to play the game. I think if you looked at the volume of folks who actively engage with the MtG universe (I'm not talking about people who have a box of cards in the attic and haven't seen them in 10 years) most people play. And, again, at core of it - it's a game. Games are meant to be played. Played games are meant to be won. I think there is a huge space out there for people who cosplay, collect, whatever. But, I think the bulk of the 'fun' available is in the play space - because it's so much MORE available. So, I know that was long winded, but competition means a lot to me. Also, let me say this; I'm not a very good player. That's the paradox I alluded to earlier. I love to play and I love to win, but I don't actually accomplish winning all that much. I insist on my own decks, I don't spend much money, etc. So, it's hard to actually scrape together wins (in constructed). But, to me I view the game like a sport - winning is important for all the same reasons winning in Football, or Soccer, or Rugby, or Formula 1 are. I think losing is equally important. It would be a drastic shame (to me) for the idea that 'it's ok to lose' would become acceptable, unless it was known from the outset that you actively don't care about winning or getting better. Because, ultimately (to me) that's the punchline - if you want to get better at this game, you need to win. Open for discussion? M.
  4. Hey Chris - It's not a deck that really gets going faster than turn 4. Which, I know can be slow in modern. But, I've had success when the opponent can't figure out what the 'point' of the deck is.
  5. Hey guys; So, the power is out at work and my teams are basically standing around. As a result, I'm brewing for MTG. My new favorite card in this set is God Pharaoh's Gift, so I'm trying to figure out what goes with it. Here's the one I'm kicking around right now: Obviously this is a control shell. I figure recurring Hope of Ghirapur when you have an Authority down is a temporary lock. And if you can bounce or destroy creatures that are tapped you've got yourself an engine. Any thoughts?
  6. I'll play the 10th man here for a minute just for the sake of discussion. I can see how certain groups of players could highly frown on an unset. There is an opportunity cost to every card, set, and block in MTG. If I am an actual competitive player that pays extreme attention to the environment, studies the trends of the game, and potentially makes my living in so doing, I don't want the sets bracketing the UNset to be weaker because a 'joke set' was cannibalizing the focus. Are the UNsets bad for magic? No, not necessarily. Are they bad for competitive magic? Probably. If you are asked to write a report for work and your boss says, 'you're excused from distraction. You don't have to answer the phone, emails, you don't need to worry about collaboration - do this report,' you have a reasonable shot at turning out something high quality (other things being equal). If your boss says, 'I need you to do this report, that report, zero your inbox, and help with the customer service calls today. But, that report is on my desk by the end of the day,' the product you turn in wont be as high quality (most likely). I think this is the viewpoint some people have - the UNset is largely 'pointless' as it relates to the progression of the game world, development, and competitive scene - and there is a cost for that. M
  7. Prediction: if Big Red becomes a popular deck, Jeskai Control will make a huge comeback, too.
  8. GBM - I really like this brew. Well done. Have you considered Pia Nalaar in the SB for the optimized energy matchup? I'm just wondering if being able to throw thopters at face/creatures for damage would be useful..
  9. All, This is a deck I've been trying to piece together in the 'budget' realm for standard. Obviously with the PT going on, anything re: price is up in the air. Here's the idea - I really like Rhonas's Last Stand. I think the card is amazing, and should just be a beater in Modern with things like Birds or Arbor Elf. That said, I'm looking at standard right now and the whole deck is built around the idea of casting RLS a bunch of times and not being stuck with tapped lands. Now, originally it was 3 color (RUG), but I think there's a little more added power/survivability with white thrown in for Cast Out, Dawn / Dusk, and the others. It's definitively slower with 'getting to the action,' and that worries me in a format where mono red is a thing. But, once the engine gets going it's a rough board state to contend with. I haven't fleshed out the sideboard and I welcome suggestions. (Side note - can anyone link me to a sticky thread or something where I can learn how to insert card art?) Here's the deck: InkStand Name Type Cost CMC QTY Rhonas's Last Stand Sorcery GG 2 4 Rashmi, Eternities Crafter Creature 2UG 4 4 Reason / Believe Sorcery U 1 4 Bloodwater Entity Creature 1UR 3 4 Riddleform Enchantment 1UR 2 3 Kiora, Master of the Depths Planeswalker 2UG 4 2 Dovin Baan Planeswalker 2UW 4 1 Saheeli Rai Planeswalker 1UR 3 2 Torrential Gearhulk Creature 4UU 6 1 Hour of Devestation Sorcery 3RR 5 1 Dusk / Dawn Sorcery 2WW 4 1 Mercurial Geists Creature 2UR 4 2 Farm / Market Instant 2W 3 2 Acrobatic Maneuver Instant 2W 3 2 Not Forgotten Sorcery 1W 2 1 Cast Out Enchantment 3W 4 1 Island 5 Mountain 2 Forest 3 Plains 2 Botanical Sanctum (U G) 2 Hashep Oasis (G) 1 Inspiring Vantage (R W) 2 Ramunap Ruins (R ) 1 Spirebluff Canal (R U) 2 Canopy Vista (G W) 1 Cinder Glade (G R) 1 Lumbering Falls (U G) 1 Port Town (U W) 1 Prairie Stream (U W) 1 Hopefully that formats right in everyone's screen, it's copied/pasted from Excel (I can't get to tappedout from work). The functionality here is to get RLS into the graveyard and start getting it back to the top of the library with Rashmi in play. The side-beats are Riddleform, Mercurial Geists, and Saheeli. I've found that going T2: Riddleform, T3: Saheeli, T4: RLS is actually kind of a beating (if you miss on Rashmi). Let me know your thoughts! I'm struggling with the SB. M
  10. I really like Hapatra. The combinations I was looking at were/are: Hapatra + Consuming Fervor Support cards: Obelisk Spider, Hapatra's Mark Hapatra + Nest of Scarabs Hapatra + Slip Through Space Things I was toying around with..
  11. Not by comparison to other formats, but that's normal. I would say a dedicated turnout rather than 'large.'
  12. To me, any move toward a less competitive environment is a bad call. Explanation for inflammatory comment - what I mean is, Magic, by it's very nature, is a binary game when it comes to result. When you play, there is a winner and a loser (sometimes multiple losers, depending) and this is true whether or not you (individually) are playing 'just for the fun of playing.' And, it's worth noting that the only way to compare investment-to-reward or 'break even' in playing Magic is to win. That said, I think eliminating valuable promos (especially if some stores give them out as prizes) is a bad idea. It sends a contradictory message that winning is unimportant to the company that is simultaneously sending you that message, printing the game, and paying literally thousands of dollars to winners of major tournaments. I don't like the idea that WotC is using prizes/cards to effect the in-store environment - that should be on the FNM host. That said; the other side of this could be strategy. Let's say that WotC sees the writing on the wall and believes that FNM is not the funnel for competitive Magic players. Let's say that our tournament players actually come (primarily) from another avenue like MTGO. If that's the case, then restructuring the FNM, gradually and subtly (like with the elimination of 'good' promos) to serve and grow the casual crowd is pretty smart. Personally, I don't like it. It's another weight on the wrong side of the 'should I go to FNM' scale. Just my thoughts, though. M
  13. I feel the same way about this, but with regard to Modern. There are cards that interest me beyond what I said, but this is one of the only Standards for a while where I sit there and think, 'ok, HOW do I break this?' and it's a hard one. There aren't quite as many clear lines as before.
  14. I may have just accidentally reposted something like this, but in far less eloquent or attractive fashion. Love your ideas and the post. I like the Panharmonicon / God Pharaoh's Gift combo. (Don't know how to link card images because I'm a huge scrub.) Also, the -1/-1 counter theme. Whoa boy. What we can do with this. I'm wanting to build around Hapatra, Obelisk Spider, Consuming Fervor, and Hapatra's Mark. Maybe jam Amit Eternal in there, and Nest of Scarabs. There are loads of possibilities with this control strategy. Oh! (Flash edit) and Dramatic Reversal + Hope Tender + Cut / Ribbons [Ramp].
  15. Alright, In the spirit of one of my posts about sharing decklists, I'm trying to get better. I really like this deck and how it plays. I listened to a podcast and heard 'mill isn't a thing,' and thought, 'challenge accepted.' This is what I came up with. I can tell you this; game 1 (unless you draw dead against aggro) is hilarious. The look you get is not shock, or anger, or disbelief from most people. It's pure confusion - and it's beautiful. Check it out: Modern Teferi Mill Name Type Cost CMC QTY Thirst for Knowledge Instant 2U 3 3 Riddlesmith Creature 1U 2 2 Chasm Skulker Creature 2U 3 4 Sphinx's Tutelage Enchantment 2U 3 4 Teferi's Puzzle Box Artifact 4 4 4 Counterspell Instant UU 2 4 Spreading Seas Enchantment 1U 2 1 Engulf the Shore Instant 3U 4 3 Jace's Archivist Creature 1UU 3 3 Darksteel Relic Artifact 0 0 4 Ensoul Artifact Enchantment 1U 2 4 Island Land 24 Now, obviously the counterspell has to come out. The decklist is old and I built it before I realized it was modern-illegal. I put mana leak in and it works ok. Little slower and requires a little more planning, but it does the job (except against established Tron). So, the way the deck works; Ideally what you want to do is get Sphinx's Tutelage down and immediately curve into Teferi's Puzzle box. This creates a real problem for your opponent, both strategically and mentally. The rest of the deck is designed to do 2 things; either stall or bluff. Chasm Skulker is basically a hard finish, and darksteel relic/ensoul artifact is the bluff. It's tough to deal with and buys you time. Sideboard largely depends on your meta. Interested to know thoughts/suggestions. M