Friendly play

I have been yelled at twice on Magic Online for playing netdecks. Since I would rather focus on getting good with decks that are good than trying to reinvent the wheel, or come up with the next great deck. Major respect to those who do, but that is not what I want to spend my time doing.

So it is a good thing that newer games will not have chat boxes. cough

But it was interesting. These people were so upset with my game choice. Now, granted I am playing in the “Friendly” league, but it offers the best value for my money. And I am mostly working on getting better at playing the deck. A 2-3 with no prizes is just not something I am willing to spend cash on when it comes to Magic Online.

I was called slurs, I was told that I was ruining the game and that I had mental deficiencies. This was upsetting only in the fact that it was a reminder of these kinds of people existing in the world. I get that some people do not have money for the “tier one” decks - and to be fair I had to win and sell prizes to be able to afford some things in my deck. But I got there. And now I am trying to get better.

Should I be playing in the “Competitive” league? Maybe, but it seems like too much of a risk for me. Plus, I am a doofus. I nearly lost against one of these complainers becuase I pressed the wrong button. So my own play is not on the level of my deck. That is fine. I will work and get better.

But goodness, these people sure are upset I didn’t come and play with my own “original idea”. Nevermind that neither of their decks were “original”. I had seen version sof them before. Maybe they came up with the deck on their own and that made them feel good. More power to them. I am here to get better and win. I know I won’t change these people, and perhaps I egged them on too much (I noted that I changed one card in the decklist as I only have two Chandras and did not feel like shelling out the $20~$30 for another. An Angrath went in and did fairly well.) but if you’re going to lob insults at me, I am going to be as kind as I can in the hopes that you just get pissed off. Because that’s funny to me.

Won both of the matches, too.

Fun was had

So, I tweeted this earlier, but it still makes me giggle.

Masters 25 was a fun draft, even though it probably wasn't worth the money card-wise. But entertainment value? It was top notch. With Kyoto GP coming up this weekend, I wish there was some Masters 25 events to play, but it only seems to be team events, which I never get to play in because I can't get a team.

Maybe that has something to do with my personality? Or just timing. But that's no excuse to not work on being a better person.

Save your money

I was doing good over the past few months with not buying things I didn't need. But when I stopped by one of the stores I frequent, the owner told me he'd give me a deal on a box of Masters 25 since the whole Iconic Masters situation was a mess. I agreed.

When the spoilers came out I was overall not enthused, but this store already had my pre-order, I was making good translation money at the time and since the store owner lets me use his parking, I save money when I go there, so buying a box once felt like I was doing something good for everyone.

Fuck, the pulls in Masters 25 can be bad. I watched two people open up bad boxes, and I had mine sitting in my bag hoping that it would have something good. I decided to bring it home and stream my opening of it.

I learned two things.

One, my webcam is much worse than I thought it was and my apartment does not have the lighting for proper "unboxing" streams.

Two, don't buy fucking Masters 25.

Seriously, it wasn't even funny, it was just a sad box. I streamed it, thinking a Jace pull would be glorious, a Tree pull would be funny and I could get something of value out of it even if the box wasn't great. But it wasn't even bad in a funny way.

A25 Draft

Masters 25 draft is available on Magic Online and I had the tikcets so I thought I'd give it a spin.

I didn't realize it was only three rounds, but I went 1-2. I definitely picked too many cratures and not enough removal. I had some decent bombs but it was mostly too slow to deal with the card advantage that others were able to get. I don't know if I'll do any more online. There's one this weekend that I'll do and that will probably be it. I'm not too excited about this set other than what it might do to some prices of some stuff that I'd like to get, but basically all my decks are done so purchasing Magic stuff has been a low for me.

I did snag a Imperial Recruiter, Ash Barrens, Simian Spirit Guide, and a Swords to Plowshares. Nothing too pricy, but not bad to have sitting in the collection as I'll surely be using them in decks.

So this is good, as I'm spending less money. I did kind of go through a "mid-life crisis"-esque bit last year where I built decks for all the big formats. A little bit of me wants a Vintage deck, but that's a lottery winning away from happening.


I missed my son's graduation from kindergarten because my ex-wife did not tell me the date.

I'm angry, but that doesn't do me much good. The event is over. Yelling at my ex-wife won't get me to go back in time. So I just have to progress with life and reinforce to my son when I do see him that I do care about him and me missing this event means nothing.

I mean, I don't even remember my kindergarten graduation and I don't know if both of my parents could make it because of work and schedules and stuff. I am sure if I asked them they would let me know. But the point is it didn't scar me in either case. I can't remember it. I hope the same is true for my son.

I knew the divorce would cause troubles, but this is something I never expected. I should have, but I am slowly unraveling how my life will be. There is someone I cannot trust to give me information.

It's frustrating, but I have to deal with it.

Although my son was out and I did not get to see him today, I at least managed to turn my energy to getting some translation work done and then playing some Magic in a Standard Showdown. I went 2-1, thanks to a bye. So I got some store credit and pulled an Angrath in my Showdown pack. That's cool. Less important than my son's graduation, but I was able to at least do something with my day instead of moping about things out of my control.

And that is what I have to do. I have to live a life. My own.

That damnable land

I lost again because I played the wrong land. I didn't think through my possible hits off of Gonti, and it was a Cast Out, but I had already played my land for the turn... And it was an enters the battlefield tapped land.


I mean, how often does that kind of situation come up? I definitely should have slowed my roll a bit (Notice this theme? I think I sure am, even though I'm not acting on it well.) and played Gonti and then think about my land drop. But dropping lands first thing in the turn is a big habbit, I didn't think I'd need eight mana and nine for a potential drawing of The Scarab God would have been good shits but I slipped up. Didn't think. Got beat because of it.

Live and learn or something. Goodness, that stung, though. Took me out of winning prizes from the league. 40 points. Boo. Like losing four dollars if you think too hard about it. Which I try not to.

Finding a groove

Switched up my Magic Online stream layout again tonight. Nothing really fits right with it and OBS. My monitor is like 1920x1200 and my secondary is 1280x720. Whichever I use for Magic Online, getting a stream layout where I'm not wasting too much space, but can put my webcam and other information seems... tough. I did some research, but not much was found.

I guess I keep digging.

I did three matches of Grixis Energy again tonight. I don't know why I keep trying this deck. Perhaps because it tops tournaments and people sing its praises, but I sure don't get it. It feels so sloppy and broken. UB Control may have its problems (Like, I don't want to play Bontu's Last Reckoning, for example.) but it feels more consistant. I don't know. Dominaria can't come soon enough to shake up this Standard because I just can't find a home in it.

Nap time

I decided to nap so I could participate in a PTQ that started at 11:05 pm. I’m currently waiting round three for my opponent to show up. Perhaps they expected the round to start later, they fell asleep (not likely) or something.

But I have work tomorrow. So this will be interesting. I suppose I drop at X-3? Not entirely sure what record I need to hit top 32 our of 90 some players, but there sure are a lot of rounds and I am 1-1 so far.


I threw away a game on Magic Online tonight.

Game three againgst Snakes and Ladders I go "I don't need Fatal Push, what does it do for me!"

Except kill the Snake, the biggest key to the deck. Plus Walking Ballista.

I wanted to fit Negates and Duresses into my deck for dealing with Hadana's Climb and their protection (Negates and Blossoming Defense), but I just completely forgot the fundamental thing that my deck wanted to do. If they had no creatures, Hadana's Climb didn't matter. I just had to time my pushes well.

So that was a learning thing. Now I need to not make that mistake again. I find that is the hardest thing as Magic Online with its time limits pressures me in a way where I make silly mistakes because I rush. But on the other hand, it is training me to think faster and punishing me harder for making mistakes while I think faster or think too slowly.

This is a lot of work for a game, but somehow it is fun.

Last and First

The store I goes to for Friday Night Magic does two tournaments. Standard and alternating Legacy and Modern.

I got last place in Standard and first in Legacy.

What can I learn from this?

Well, I’ve played lots of games with Grixis Delver and not as many with Blue Black Control.

Experience must matter.

I also think I overside. My sideboard game in Legacy isn’t perfect, but I know the basics of what I want in different kind of matchups.

Considering I played three games each round, I lost at least half the games post sideboard. So I need to think more about that process.

I keep saying I’ll stick with this deck or that, but even though I went 0-3, it was the best I felt playing in a while. Coupled with Thursday’s Standard Showdown, this is probably my deck until Dominaria, which is going to shake things up.

A 2-1

So I did post my Sunday “explosion of emotions” on Reddit and got a single reply. Well, that is better than nothing, right? It was, mostly becasue it confirmed a few things I already know. But it is nice to hear it from someone else.

I need to slow down.

I need to pick a deck and stick with it.

I already broke that running Grixis Energy last night and Blue Black Control tonight. But yesterday I tilted againd ue to a few rounds of bad lands and lots of mulligans with Grixis so I just put back Blue Black Control again for the umpteenth time this Standard season and I went 2-1 tonight.

Yes, I made a dumb mistake last night that had I not done I could have at least had a chance. Maybe Grixis is as good as everyone says. But Blue Black control just felt like home. I wish there was a spot for more than two of The Scarab God, because I felt like I was digging for that jerk a lot tonight. But Gearhulks, Vraska’s Contempts and my two-of Commit // Memory did a lot of work. And I felt good.

Now, I didn’t face any Mono Red tonight. Two God Pharaoh’s Gifts and a Blue Black Midrange. I was super salty after round one because I had to mulligan twice into GPG just going off flawlessly and then I had to mulligan again into a barely keepable hand and GPG’s resiliance just showed its power. I beat UB midrange fairly easily by just keeping them off their creatures and then finding a time to stick The Scarab God with protection.

The last round was against GPG again and game one took 42 of the 50 minute round. I was hanging on by my fingernails. Two life at one point. But Azcanta found me a needed Vraska’s Contempt, and then a Gearhulk flashing back Memory gave me a good enough hand to stablize into The Scarab God letting me get their milling dudes and milling out for the win. It was intense. We both played lands back and forth for the majority of game two until time was called. He did his best to fill up his graveyard but only got one angel and finally snaked through a Gift. I had River’s Rebuke and he had a Cast Out on one of my Gearhulks. That stablized me enough to turn game two into a draw, get top 5 and win a Standard Showdown pack. I pulled crap, but I don’t care about cards. I want to play good Magic.

Round one had me feeling like shit and I have to admit that winning round three of course made me happy, but that game one was one of the most thrilling games I have played in a long time. It was a good reminder of why I like this game. Not because I won, but because it was just a chain of us going back and forth until one of us one. It felt like we both played the best we could. Sure, I won, but it wasn’t easy, and it was intense.

The other brain

I had another moment tonight playing Magic where I knew I wasn’t supposed to do something but did it anyway.

I’m too impulsive.

I need to relax and focus. I lost to a thing I shouldn’t have lost to if I kept to my plan. So I have trust myself.

That’s hard. But at least I’m realizing it.

The Stranger

I got into an argument with my ex-wife this weekend. I failed at one of my goals to approach situations like this calmly and rationally.

It's hard when you are suddenly put on defense unexpectedly.

When I noticed how our child was reacting to this, I realized my folly in arguing at this time, said goodbye to him with a hug and left. His parents may not have any love between them anymore, but he should not suffer for this.

What did I do wrong? I was looking in the house for a tape measurer. See, the boy needs his passport renewed and the page asks for the person’s height. Okay. I should have researched this earlier, I admit, but I didn't realize, and no one knew his height, and I figured one of the drawers would have a tape measurer. I was pretty sure there was one when I lived there years ago.

My ex-wife came home to me rummaging through the drawers and was outraged. Why would a stranger go through someone else’s stuff. I apologized, or did I? It's hard to remember after such an intense event, but said that I was doing it for the boy’s passport application. “Why didn't you bring something or go buy something?” Well, I messed up and didn't read the application beforehand. It's all done online. I figured it wouldn't take too much time. I didn't know I’d need a tape measurer.

Anyway, the same thing happened that happened every argument we had during our marriage which ultimately brought us to divorce. She accused me of something, I said my reasoning and she retorted by saying that I did the thing I did.

It always drove me a little mad. It still does, I suppose. I don't get it, but I’m not the one getting emotional about the situation. Well, that's not true. I'm not the one initially getting emotional.

Perhaps there was something in the drawers she didn't want me to see. Perhaps she just believes that as we are now divorced I have no right to do anything to her property. And maybe I don’t. I do watch our child at her house before she gets home some days. I was, perhaps stupidly, just doing my best to try to get a difficult process in motion. Should I have looked up the form earlier? Yes. Should I have asked earlier his height and when I received the answer that it was unknown procured a tape measurer and prepared myself? Yes.

Am I a stranger going through someone's things with malicious intent? I cannot agree. I was simply trying to help. Perhaps it did not seem that way. She's lucky I am not the type of person to pocket the bits of cash she had just left around the house, but then again it is fairly stupid of me to say she's lucky I am a decent person.

I pleaded my case that I was simply trying to get the paperwork done as soon as possible so I could take the boy to America this summer. (Let's not ask her what the progress is on her renewing his Japanese passport.) She called me a stranger and a thief.

That hurt. I was attempting to do the best I could, the soonest I could, for the child. Had I made mistakes in the process? Surely I did. Does a divorce make me a stranger and a thief? Does my explanation hold no ground because I am now to her, in her own words “nobody”? I don't know. I have trouble seeing how I truly erred, but I know my intents were only noble and she does not see them that way.

I have to remember to hold back, especially in front of my son. He doesn't need to see that. No one does.


I wanted to stream tonight, but after dinner. So I thought after doing some necessary shopping that I would nap for a half hour.

Three hours later...

I did stream. A good mirror match of Grixis Midrange. I’m really torn on that deck and Snakes and Ladders. I had a terrible performance at a PPTQ with Snakes on Sunday, but then got second in a Standard Showdown. I could probably have both decks sleeved up, although they do share some cards and just play in the Standard events available for the time being. No more PPTQs for a while.

GP Kyoto is coming up and I’m sad I don’t have a team to play in the main event, but I’ll be rolling some side events and that should be fun. I put together a different Modern deck since Mono Blue Living End has been performing poorly since Bloodbraid Elf came back, so I’ll throw this new deck around a bit and maybe play some Modern at the GP. Or Legacy. It’s been a while since I really played my Delver deck, but it’s been Standard time. Last winter had a bunch of Legacy events.

I was real down yesterday but feel a bit better today, even though I had a troll show up in my stream. Oh well. Ban and move on. People, though. Sheesh.

I am a bad Magic player. I want to improve.

I originally posted this on Reddit looking for advice, but I made a mistake and got my post removed. Just another moment of me being a fucking moron, apparently.


I went to six PPTQs so far this year. 2-3 in a sealed. The remaining were standard. 3-3, 1-2-2, 2-1-2, 2-3 and 1-4, the last one today and the only match win was a round four bye. I feel like I’m getting worse.

I have been to Friday Night Magic and Standard Showdowns over the course of January and February. Excluding perhaps two events I have gone 1-2.

I am frustrated.

I know I am not owed wins, but I feel like I am getting worse. I have taken a deck that places well in an event, run it through leagues on MTGO, usually going 3-2 or 4-1. The occasional 2-3. I take it to a PPTQ and do awful. I research decks, look at what I have to play and pick a deck and repeat the process. Clearly this is a bad decision. I have played Grixis Midrange, UBg Midrange, UB Control and Snakes and Ladders. I have performed terribly in every PPTQ.

With this six lack to make top 8, it is not a lack of fun with the game, as the actual playing is fine but clearly I am getting results that are below what I would like.

I must be making suboptimal plays. I follow sidebording guidelines that I find, so I feel like I am doing the best I can there. But there is something fundamentally wrong with my play. The thing is I am so inside my own head that I cannot see it.

Here is the part where I would blame luck or variance. I will not. I realize it is part of the game even though I have gotten a “reputation” amongst other players who know me for being incredibly unlucky. I try my best to refuse to believe this. It is either deck choices.

There is of course a “sunk cost fallacy” I could be going on about, but on the whole I enjoy Magic, but I am playing terribly without knowing what I am doing wrong.

What steps should I take? How can I at least lose gracefully, because my losses feel bad. I don’t even feel like I am playing Magic some rounds. I’ll be done fifteen minutes into the round, defeated and just waiting for their next round.

How can I stop being stupid? I lost round five today by literally not playing the right land on turn three. I knew what land I needed to play and yet I put the wrong one down. I’m flabbergasted at my own stupidity. I thought “play the Botanical Sanctum” and the the Forest in my hand went down on the table. I can’t even explain it.

I know I’ll make mistakes but I don’t seem to learn. I feel like a complete dumbass. I want to improve just so that at least I feel that I don’t give my opponents free wins because they were paired against me.

What resources can I look at? I’m playing Magic Online three nights a week, going to two Standard Showdowns and FNM, bigger tournaments on Sunday. So I’m playing. But I’m clearly not learning.

No complaining. No feeling sorry for myself. But I want to improve. What steps do I take?


There are two decks I played today. One had some bad luck in a league and I went 1-4. Then I played it again in the evening and went 4-1. Then I took another deck and won two games in a row in a league.

I don't know which one to take to the PPTQ tomorrrow.

One is Grixis Energy and the other is Sultai Snake. Both worry me because they are three color decks, but when they go, they go hard. And I like both of them. It really ends up being what is going to be at the PPTQ tomorrow, and I just don't know.

My PPTQ results as of late have been less than stellar, and I just have this unfortunate "hunch" that whichever I pick will be the wrong one. I have been playing decks similar to Grixis Energy recently and I feel able to play it.

But I am not unfamiliar with Sultai Snake and it seems to have some answers that Grixis just doesn't. But then again Grixis has some stuff that Snake doesn't.


I guess I'll sleep on it and toss a coin in the morning. You know that old trick. It's not the coin result that matters but how you feel after the coin is flipped.

My worry is that I will feel indecisive still.

More losing

Three 1-2 nights in a row.

Now here is my conundrum. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the preparing to play Magic. I generally enjoy half of my games, win or lose. It’s the after time when I see how bad I did overall that I just get a kick of those depression moments.

And that’s not good. Now there are two parts to it. I have to recognize that it is a feeling and I have to also not let it impact my life too negatively.

It’s not just the game. It’s life in general. Things are happening and recently I’ve been overall going downhill.

I doubt I could read them since my handwriting is so bad, but I should check my diary from last year. See how I was. It’s not to compare in the sense of making myself feel better or worse, but to be honest with myself and my feelings.

But I know right now I am not content with my results playing Magic. I’m still enjoying my leisure time, but something is not right. And I need to figure out what that is.

I forgot to blog yesterday

I just lost a 31-day streak on blogging. That kind of stings. Somehow I just forgot to. I had the time, but I put it off and things happened and then bam. No blog post. Thirty-one day streak ends.

Although that is a pretty good streak for me. Now I just have to beat it.

In fact, looking back on February (Holy shit, it's March), I blogged 27 times, streamed 17 times, read 3 books and finished 0 games. Whoops on that last one. Well, I have been focusing on Magic, and on iOS I have been playing that damnable Trap Game where I got to the "time limit room" eight fucking seconds late last night, so that felt bad but also good in that I am slowly improving.

Which is a good metaphor for this year. Slowly improve. Each day may not be a success, but let's slowly improve and see where things end up in ten more months.

Perhaps I'll be happy with what I see.

Coffee: It's what's for everything

I was "off" of coffee for the most part. It was half a conscious effort not to be dependent on something and half laziness of not waking up early enough to press two buttons on my instant coffee maker. (Seriously, the warm-up time for the machine feels like forever when you are in a below-zero kitchen.)

But I had a big cup yesterday and a big one today and… I feel good. Better than I have, with enough energy to do my daily exercises without complaint after work, get a few more things done and then stream for a while. So yesterday felt productive. Oddly so.

I had another big cup today and I felt pretty good during work. A little tired, but I slept like shit yesterday, so that obviously has an effect. Still. Exercised. Practiced some kanji and read some Japanese. Read some English. Probably going to stream tonight. (Or be in the middle of streaming when this goes live. I type it up and schedule it. Oh, the horrors!)

Coffee addiction is a bit scary, and I know it can have its problems, but if it helps me with the funk I was in, is it that bad? Probably still, because I am depending on something but then again I need to get myself to a state where I feel good enough to let things go the way they need to.

That doesn't sound like it makes sense, but I think it do.