Sunday, January 29, 2012

MTG Revision: Planeswalker rules and full-art land

I've been out of touch with Magic for many years and lost touch with some of the rules and happenings in the game. Most of the new mechanic and abilities of the cards are easy to pick up as they are simple and usually explained in the card. One new card type that baffled me is the Planeswalker. They look like creatures to me but they usually have about 3 abilities and the numbers next to the ability doesn't make sense. Are those pluses and minuses for your life-points?

Planeswalker rules explains it all for me.

The other thing of interest was when I watched some Magic Duels on Youtube and found the players using these really nice lands that are full-art. Turns out they come from the Worldwake and Zendikar sets. The best way to get new copies of them will be from fat packs which provide 40 of them. I really hope they are still found in stores!

Singapore MTG player's blog sighted!

Avid Duelist

Nicely designed/themed site!

MTG: Opening packs can be a game as well

Limited Casual Format

If you've bought packs, you can consider the above ways to play using the packs. Personally, I like this other way, Winchester Draft, for 2 players. I have not heard of this for other games like Yugioh, perhaps Magic has more variety to make it viable?

Next time you have a lot of unopened packs, try it out and get more fun before constructing your deck!

Event Decks SGD price update

I saw the prices for the other Event Decks and they are not as high as the Infect & Defile one that the shop  personnel quoted. $32.90 for Hold the Line, $29.90 for Deathfed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Magic DotP 2012 Deck Lists

Wielding Steel

24 Lands
24 Plains

26 Creatures
4 Elite Vanguard
1 Gideon's Avenger
2 Gideon's Lawkeeper
3 Glory Seeker
2 Kitesail Apprentice
2 Kor Duelist
3 Kor Hookmaster
3 Kor Outfitter
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Puresteel Paladin
2 Sunspear Shikari
2 Loxodon Gatekeeper

10 Spells
1 Brave the Elements
1 Infiltration Lens
2 Kitesail
1 Pennon Blade
1 Strider Harness
2 Trusty Machete
1 Argentum Armor
1 Sword of War and Peace

The most powerful deck I have. All extra 20 cards for the deck are unlocked but I skip the expensive boss creatures and went with Weenies and Equipment Theme.

Realm of Illusion

24 Lands
24 Island

21 Creatures
1 Aether Figment
3 Blind Phantasm
4 Krovikan Mist
4 Phantasmal Bear
3 Phantom Beast
2 Phantom Warrior
2 Lord of the Unreal
1 Phantasmal Dragon
1 Sower of Temptation

15 Spells
2 Cancel
1 Disorient
2 Divination
1 Fleeting Distraction
1 Mind Spring
3 Repulse
1 Summoner's Bane
1 Time Warp
2 Counterspell
1 Concentrate

This is fairly powerful like what is currently popular in Magic's Standard format. I've not gotten all the cards but I don't think I will be using what's left to unlock. The bounce cards are especially useful against opponent's tokens and illusions. I will like to get rid of Fleeting Distraction and Disorient but there are not much choices to replace them.

Blood Hunger

24 Lands
24 Swamp

30 Creatures
2 Barony Vampire
3 Bloodrage Vampire
1 Captivating Vampire
2 Child of Night
3 Duskhunter Bat
2 Gatekeeper of Malakir
2 Quag Vampires
2 Ruthless Cullblade
1 Sangromancer
3 Tormented Soul
2 Vampire Aristocrat
2 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Vampire Nocturnus
2 Vampire Outcasts
1 Mirri the Cursed
1 Bloodghast

6 Spells
2 Feast of Blood
2 Urge to Feed
2 Vicious Hunger

I think this is a vampire/black weenie swarm deck so I removed all the expensive spells. I like the keep the deck functioning with 2-4 swamps and use the excess land for regenerating Bloodghast although there is only 1. The deck is susceptible to board wipes but then again, there are no Wrath of God or Day of Judgement to worry about. You just have to be wary of Red spells like Slagstorm or Blue's mass bounce spell, Evacuation.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Before you go buying any MTG Event Decks, read this...

I used to check my Magic card prices from the magazine, Inquest, but that magazine was discontinued from 2007. I stopped reading way before that once I quit Magic long ago. I found another source to check for Magic card price: store.

I was actually studying the Event Decks thinking of combining 2 to form a viable deck but then I found the above site which list out the card prices from various sources. You will be shock to find that most of the rare cards in the event deck barely make up the retail price of USD$25 set by Wizards of the Coast.

Hold the Line cost from rare-s: Approx $13
Deathfed cost from rare-s: Approx $11
Illusionary Might cost from rare-s: Approx $12
Vampire Onslaught cost from rare-s: Approx $18
Rot from Within cost from rare-s: Approx $17
War of Attrition cost from rare-s: Approx $17
Into the Breach cost from rare-s: Approx $6
Infect and Defile cost from rare-s: Approx $8

Granted you will also get uncommon and common cards which I did not factor in for the cost, the most expensive cards you can get from the event deck are Inkmoth Nexus($12-13) and Phantasmal Image($9-10). The uncommon and common cards aren't very expensive and if you order everything over the net, the decks are going to be cheaper and you can probably build a stronger deck as you get to pick cards. Buying 2 Event decks suddenly do not seem like such a good idea...

On another note, you will be able to checkout the upcoming Dark Ascension cards at the store. Looks like Wolf/Werewolf are going to get a lot of support.

Magic DotP 2012 Deck Lists and Card Unlocks

Official link

I didn't know this is available online. I find myself sticking to Gideon Jura – Wielding SteelJace Beleren – Realm of Illusion and Sorin Markov – Blood Hunger.

I do not find the other decks interesting as not being able to have complete play-sets of cards (4 each) is a turn off for me and the multi-color decks do not feature dual lands.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MTG: Holding the Line with Haunted Humans

Huanted Humans is a MTG Worlds 2011 top 8 deck involving White Human Weenies backed by Mana Leak, Hero of Bladehold, Geist of Saint Traft and Moorland HauntThose cards alone are threats on their own and provided a better-rounded strategy to White Weenies.

Check out the article by the deck's creator, Craig Wescoe.

A lot of the deck can be built from 2 copies of "Hold the Line" Innistrad Event Decks.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

About the Innistrad Event Decks...

Magic's Event Decks are somewhat like Yugioh's Pre-constructed decks. (Priced SGD$45.90 at Comics Connection) I found out about them quite late  and they seem to be pretty competitive out of the box unlike Yugioh. They give the max copies of quite a number of cards (the common rarity ones), about 2 each of the uncommon-s and 1 each of the rare-s, compared to Yugioh's 1 each of most of the cards. To do a little better, you might need to buy up to 2 to get the max copies of the uncommon cards.

For Innistrad set's 2 Event Decks, they are themed around White Weennies, called "Hold the Line" and a Graveyard-based deck, similar theme to Lightsworns, Deathfed. (Magic also has a Flashback spell card mechanic that enables casting of these spells from graveyard which makes it better than Lightsworns) I think White Weenies are pretty straightforward and this deck-type has been around since over 15 years ago when I was playing Magic. The Graveyard-based deck needs a bit of setup and I personally think you should get more fun playing it, out of the two.

Useful links on the 2 decks

Wizards of the Coast Official Page

Ertai's Lament Hold the Line Review 1 & 2

For how to improve Hold the Line, refer to the White Weenies/Human first deck here

Ertai's Lament Deathfed Review 1 & 2

Wizards of the Coast's Article on Splinterfright, main creature of Deathfed

Magic DotP 2012 Deck Packs expansion

Didn't know about these! I haven't been playing Duels of the Planeswalker since the first DLC expansion.

Article about 1st deck pack

Article about 2nd deck pack

3rd pack is coming today! (12 Jan)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Assassin's Creed Recollections Forum links

There are lots of info here and people are posting their deck-lists. You might not know what the decks are as there is still no card list. I'm enjoying the game and having fun although sometimes I have no clue what I'm doing or what happened. I have not figured out the "golden ratio" for the 3 main types of cards either. All I know is that as with most (all?) card games, card advantage is the key to winning.

There are 3 packs to buy: Templars (100 credits), Mixed (500 credits) and Assassins (900 credits). It goes without saying that Assassins Pack contain the best cards. I've not bought any packs yet and I'm reading that mixed packs might be a good buy as depending on your luck, you can get Assassins cards too.

Update (16/12/2011): Found another where more strategies and deck-lists are shared. I find myself losing constantly to the CPU in single player and am very tempted to buy packs. However, I'm still holding out for a card list before plunging in.

And also, there's a Thread in the Official Ubisoft forums.

Update (5/1/2012): Unofficial forum. Lots of decks in Deck Discussion and Specific Strategy Area. (Note this 2 areas might get merged)

iTunes App Store link: Assassin's Creed Recollection - Ubisoft

PS Vita + Yugioh Tag Force = iOS Yugioh game in the future?

PS Vita has been out for before Christmas in Japan and Hong Kong. You can get your hands on the import sets in Singapore. The specs are high-end compared to the Nintendo 3DS and one main feature that I noticed is that the "PSP" finally gets a touchscreen (in front and at back too) and a capacitive one for that matter.

This means you do not need a stylus unlike the DS family and just like the iOS family of iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads. I believe and hope that the next Tag Force game will be re-designed to be played and controlled by fingers and when that happens, it should not be too hard to port that design over for iOS!

Art Gallery/Green, Purple & Yellow/All packs

This one is based on the idea used in Borgia Art Gallery. I'm thinking of just focusing on Art Gallery and optimizing it as the main winning condition, backed up by Calling all Stand-ins. Since you immediately score once your agent lands on Art Gallery, it may not matter much for it to finish campaigning as we are using weenies with 0-1 attack power. You'll only need 5 campaigns for each Gallery.

The main idea will be to use Dama Rossa and Cahin with Green's bounce cards(Doctor/Malfatto/Bitter Sweet) to recast the Agents to restart campaigning. In addition, Cahin will generate a new token when cast. It will be even better if you can bait opponent's agent to block yours before you pull them back to your hand. One more untested trick is to use Behind Closed Doors to swap the Art Gallery around to escape destruction or free up slots to "swap" in fresh agents for campaigning.

Main Cards
Art Gallery
Dama Rossa
Call to Action
Quick Study
Behind Closed Doors
Bitter Sweet
Knowledge is Power
Magnetic Personality

Once again, use Baracus' Site for card list.

iTunes App Store link: Assassin's Creed Recollection - Ubisoft

Why are Counterspells so powerful in Recollections?

You can't counter the counterspells...

iTunes App Store link: Assassin's Creed Recollection - Ubisoft

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Red & Blue Control Deck Idea

This deck is about Red and Blue control. Red has the mass Agent destruction while Blue has the mass Site Destruction.

Main Actions
Royal Decree
Wrath of the Righteousness
Court Order
Pre-emptive Strike
Animus Reboot
History Glitch

To finish the game, you can use these cards which will give the deck its name:

Silvio Barbarigo
He escapes Wrath and Reboots. The AI has a version that uses him too.

Novella Cathedral
A combo of Buried Cathedral and Novella Catacombs to mill the opponent out of cards

Patheon Intervention
2 card combo finish: Patheon/Royal Intervention

Cesare Borgia
Cesare is especially good if you are facing another control deck as he can't be countered.

Use Baracus' Site for card list.

iTunes App Store link: Assassin's Creed Recollection - Ubisoft

Blue & Purple Control Deck Idea

Purple and Blue are also capable of playing the Control game. Together with Yellow, these are the cards stop the opponent in their tracks.

Main Actions
Court Order
Pre-emptive Strike
Wanted Posters
Tactless Theatrics
For the Cause
Role Reversal
Easy come, easy go
Royal Decree
History Glitch
Animus Reboot

To finish off the game:

This is another old Magic TG deck. The main idea is to counter and control what your opponent does and when the opponent runs out of steam, there is a land card that churns out tokens to slowly overwhelm the opponent. The concept is the same here except instead of a token generator, we'll use the 2 main Token generator from Media Expertise as finishers: Calling all stand-ins and Carnevale.

Cesare's Ego
The idea is to cast 1 Cesare who will come out quick. Then, use Auxiliary Ego to clone another and cast another Cesare for 0 cost. Having to deal with more than 1 Cesare and in such quick succession should be a real pain in the @$$!

Use Baracus' Site for card list.

iTunes App Store link: Assassin's Creed Recollection - Ubisoft

Monday, January 2, 2012

Duelist Box 2012 sighted at Tiong Bahru Plaza Comic Connection

$145. The only thing I want from it is the rubber duel mat.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Senor Stompy (Recollections) Deck Idea

This is a Green Magic TG deck that I have from my old days of Magic. The idea is to use under-cost green creatures backed by creature booster. The deck that closes up the game with a card to slow down the opponent's game. This recollection version does not have any card to slow down the opponent, other than the ones to reduce income so we'll only have under-cost Agents and creature booster.

Main Agents
Ezio Auditore Da Firenze (Main under-cost Agent, we are not going to put any Templar cards here)
Niccolo Machiavelli (Another good under-cost Agent)

Main Sites
Smuggler's Warehouse

Main Actions
Magnetic Personality

There are cards that can reduce opponent's income but it may not be very useful as once the opponent gains enough income, those income reduction doesn't do much. The deck is similar to Brontobeuf's deck posted over at Touch Arcade Forum. Use Baracus' Site for card list.

iTunes App Store link: Assassin's Creed Recollection - Ubisoft

187 Agent Deck Idea

187 is a term from Magic TG and what it refers to are creatures which have a come into play effect. There are quite a number of 187 Agents in Recollection too and I think it is enough to build a deck centered on that idea. I do not have enough cards yet but it can work. So far, it has not tested well against the AI's Thief deck in Mission 19 (R19).

The main colors will be Black and Green. Purple and Red do have some good 187 Agents too but Black is the main color and Green has the best support for 187 as it has the bounce cards.

Main Agents
Mario Auditore (Destroy agents)
Giovanni Auditore (Destroy sites)
Fabio Orsini (all agents get -1/-1)
Ezio Auditore, Assassin (Destroy an agent or site)
Leonardo Da Vinci (Draw 2 cards)
Malfatto (Bounce Agents)

Main Actions
Quick Study (Search for the required 187 Agent)
Bitter Sweet (Bounce Agent)
Impending Pandemic (Sends everything back to hand)

Main Sites
Assassins Guild (Destroy Opponent's highest Agent)
Venezia, San Polo District (Destroy opposing site in region)

One thing I notice is that you require a lot of gold to be able to consistently recast your Agents. One more trick you can pull with this is to use your 187 Agent to block before sending them back to your hand to reuse the ability. Use Baracus' Site for card list.

iTunes App Store link: Assassin's Creed Recollection - Ubisoft

Police & Thief Deck Idea

After building Thief decks as I get more of them from Assassin Packs, I find these Agents to be really strong. The main Thief is Lanz, a rare from Templar packs. I did not look too much to his ability but on closer examination, he is a souped-up "Borgia Tower".

Threat + When Lanz campaigns, your Thieves get +1/+1

You just need to put him onto a blank space in a region and all your other thieves grow! Usual play will be to put out a few thieves before casting him and once he's out, your horde of thieves will start to grow and overwhelm the opponent fast.

Main Thief cards
Discreet Calling
Rosa (Good against Site decks which will not block him)
Lia De Russo
La Vople
Antonio De Magianis (Good against Site decks)

It is a really fast deck and it is really only susceptible to Action cards. Hence, I added in the Blue Expertise for counterspells and income gainers.

Main Blue Order cards
Forced Inheritance
Court Order
Pre-emptive Strike

You can also add in the blue agents like Octavian or Grimaldi. I think Borgia Tower isn't necessary at all. I tried a version with Templar Sanctum and all Templar Thief and Noble Agents and it works pretty well too.

Use Baracus' Site for card list.

iTunes App Store link: Assassin's Creed Recollection - Ubisoft

AC Recollections Expertise Staple

I've been trying out quite a few decks and think these are the staples of each Expertise:

Plentiful Crop

Rosa in Fiore
Forced Charity

Basilica Di San Pietro
Benevolent Midwife
Divine Intervention

Dama Rossa
Political Patronage
Calling All Stand-ins
Magnetic Personality

Forced Inheritance
Court Order

Knowledge is Power
Quick Study

They are mostly Income gainers at the moment. Use Baracus' Site for card list.

iTunes App Store link: Assassin's Creed Recollection - Ubisoft

Site-Rush/Red, Green & Yellow/All packs

This deck deserves a repost as with Assassin cards added, a lot of cards needed to be changed. Use Baracus' Site for card list.

25 Sites
5 Venezia, San Polo District
5 Basilica Di San Pietro
5 Roma, Vaticano District
5 Lair of Romulus
3 San Grimgnano
2 Forli

25 Actions
5 Plentiful Crop
5 Knowledge is Power
5 Field of Study
5 Papal Influence
3 Wrath of the Righteousness
2 Animus Reboot

Total: 50 Memories

Wrath, Venezia and Animus for defense. Lair of Romulus, San Grimgnano, Forli and Papal Influence are game winning cards. Roma, Vaticano District can lockout Agents while still providing 2 influence which is quite versatile. More card-drawing available with Assassin cards: Knowledge is Power.

iTunes App Store link: Assassin's Creed Recollection - Ubisoft