Schlagwort-Archiv: MTGO

A few Snippets about This and That

I will continue my series about CML’s eye-opening blog post when I have a little more time, and just keep this blog going with a few things on my mind right now.

But let me at least address a few remarks from the comment section of my latest entry: I have no idea why someone who writes about Magic needs to be compared with Hunter S. Thompson (and it’s actually already saying something good if he is), and I also never claimed CML was a „great writer“ – although, to be fair, if you hold him to reasonable standards pertaining Magic articles, that is a very defensible position. Interestingly, I consciously declined to praise his writing style too much to avoid that very comparison to „serious“ writers, understating his abilities by only saying that he writes „quite well“. That is most certainly true even for „serious“ writing (albeit not necessarily for the highest publishing standards), but there should be nothing left to discuss considering we are talking about Magic articles here!

Regarding „real“ professional sports and the opporunity to make big money there: I admit I was thinking of conventional, physical sports here, like football, basketball or tennis. I have next to none knowledge about the e-sports scene. However, I would still be surprised if the higher payouts and the more professional sponsoring there wouldn’t enable at least a few of the top players to actually make enough money during their active time to set it aside (I’m not talking about „retiring“ afterwards, though, just coming out ahead). Anyway, the comparison between e-sports and Magic is better suited to highlight the value WotC places on their professional tournaments, which will probably be the topic of my next entry in that series. By the way, there seems to be at least some interest for this, judging by the fact that I actually got a few comments. Sadly, this is already remarkable! Just compare with the number of comments which the latest few articles on PlanetMTG – the only left publishing platform for editorial German Magic content – got:


In the meanwhile, I have done a couple of Battle for Zendikar drafts – seven, to be precise. I won two of them, went 2-1 in four more and would very probably have gone 2-1 in the seventh as well, if MTGO hadn’t decided to stop me from playing in the last round while I was 1-0 in the lead and in a very strong position in the second game. When I write this, I have been filing for reimbursement over 16 hours ago and not got an answer yet (other than the automatically generated email) – this used to go a lot faster a year or so ago! But alas, even one of the few things MTGO was to be commended for (fast reimbursement) has gone bad now.

These were my two winning decks:



Most of my other drafts I was more focussed on aggression, with Red and/or White as a foundation, and while I admittedly didn’t face the toughest opposition (and made several really stupid playing mistakes), my match losses were usually to back to back egregious instances of mana issues. Thus, I feel that overall I cannot really judge the format fairly yet, but my impression so far is that drafting it is fun, but playing the games rather annoying. It may be tainted by my frustration with the MTGO shuffler, though, which is having fun colorscrewing my two-color decks every second game (not even including the ones where I’m generally manascrewed), while my opponents lay down a third turn 3/4 Tajuru Stalwart off a splashed rare land every second game (alright, that is probably not the frequency that this really happens, but it feels that way). I just absoulutely hate it when I build my deck for consistency and am still struggling to cast my spells, while my opponents seemingly run haphazard mana bases without issues…

Objectively, though, I shouldn’t complain. I have a very decent win ratio so far, and in my very first draft I managed to grab a couple of (then-) money rares and sold them immediately afterwards, when they were still absurdly expensive. I never opened anything really valuable again, though, but I was one of the lucky recipients of the mistakenly awarded Gideon, Ally of Zendikar – those were supposed to be use- and worthless avatars, but some moron at WotC mixed those up, to the delight of some players and the dismay of most traders. I even managed to sell it before its price plummeted!

As for the dynamics of Battle for Zendikar draft: The format seems medium fast. You probably do not want to put some of its really expensive spells in your deck if you do not have a good plan how to support them, but you are also not required to run mediocre 2-drops if you do not intend to be aggressive, and most 2-drops are actually actively bad if you do not specifically focus on ending the game fast and being able to break through a solid defense. The colors seem reasonably balanced to me so far, but unfortunately the booster packs aren’t – some drafters are going to end up with five or more bomb-level picks, while others stare at empty packs each firstpick which do not even contain a good common. On the bright side, though, reading signals seems to work well, and thus you should usually get access to enough picks in your colors that you can finetune your deck for focus, curve and synergies, while still being able to snatch up a few useful sideboard cards and extra full-art lands.

Finally, an addendum to my Battle for Zendikar Limited Pool update: I decided to give Swarm Surge a chance as a black card synergizing with artifacts. Without eldrazi scion tokens, it will not be too exciting, but Black really needs it.

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An unbelievable chain of MTGO bugs

I have put this blog here on hold while I’m busy managing the editorial side of the German Magic site Magic Universe, but I really do not want to withhold this absolutely hilarious client behaviour from you! I’ll just copy/paste my mail to WotC customer service here:

Dear customer support,

this is getting ridiculous. All of the following things happened during one single draft today (note that the draft I had done immediately before went without any hiccups):

1. I was disconnected from MTGO during the third booster round of the draft. I restarted the client as fast as possible, but missed a couple picks around pack 4-6, I believe. I can’t say for sure because of the multiple further issues happening afterwards and confusing me. One thing is for sure, though, that the program had picked a basic land for me while I was disconnected, since I now had three in my possession and only last-picked them before.

2. When I finally got back into the draft, I was teased by a Meandering Towershell in my pack which I wanted to draft, and rushed by the clock showing I only had 2 seconds left to draft. I frantically clicked on the Towershell, but the screen was frozen.

3. Then the screen changed to a later pack, the Towershell was not added to my picks, and I could finally continue to draft.

4. After I took my 41st card, I never got to see my last pick of the third booster, with the screen immediately switching over to deck-building. I’m not sure if I got a card at all – I still had only three basic lands, but I can’t swear I consciously pciked 4 copies of Taigan’s Scheming, for example.

4. After salvaging my draft as well as I could, I then proceeded to deck-building. When I submitted, I got the „unexpected error occured“ message (was that bug not supposed to be fixed?) and had to restart the client again.

5. I got back to my deck-building screen. Obviously, all cards were in my sideboard. I frantically rebuilt my deck. The first card I added was a Treasure Cruise I had drafted during the first booster round, and which had always been part of my pool. After I had added a dozen or so cards to my deck, the screen froze again for a few seconds, and then changed. Most cards I had added to my deck were there, but the Treasure Cruise was gone (and no, it was not in the hidden area, or anywhere else. I quadruple-checked all screen areas in all views!)

6. On the other hand, that Meandering Towershell was suddenly in my card pool, which it hadn’t been a few seconds ago! I had to build the deck without Treasure Cruise, but could use the Towershell at least. Still, there was a reason I ran two Scout the Borders, and the Cruise had been a high pick I took.

7. When I got to sideboard after the first game, Treasure Cruise had miraculously re-appeared in my card pool, but in the sideboard, not the deck (and Towershell was also still there).

8. After losing the first round, I was then disconnected AGAIN from MTGO during the second round. It took me half a dozen tries to get back to my game after 6 minutes or so.

9. A few minutes later, during the same game, I got disconnected AGAIN. Fortunately, this time I could return a lot faster.

10. When later looking at my deck in the freeform binder, the Meandering Towershell was not there. Neither in the deck, nor in the sideboard! Note that I won several games with this creature which MTGO says was not part of my drafted cards!

11. Then again, Treasure Cruise was shown there. As part of my DECK, not my sideboard. It seems the deck saved to my folder was that of my first (failed) submission.

12. Oh, and I had 39 cards which were not basic lands in my pool (meaning I did not get a last-pick basic land during the first-booster round), obviously not couting the Towershell which had meandered out of my card pool.

13. Of course, I now wanted to know if that Meandering Towershell had been added to my collection at all! There had been none on my account before, so I could say with certainty that I had… TWO now?

14. Okay, wrong numbers of card copies in the collection is yet another annoying, but known bug, so I restarted the client AGAIN and found out that I am now correctly in possession of ONE Meandering Towershell.

15. But can you guess what card had NOT been added to my collection? Right, Treasure Cruise was missing! (I know for certain that I already owned a playset before that draft, and I now still had four. Note that I actually DREW Treasure Cruise in a draft game (although I don’t know if this was a game where I had also drawn Meandering Towershell).

While this all is borderline hilarious, I hope you understand how deeply unhappy I am with the performance of the client, especially because I am currently at 13 qualifier points this season and have likely been losing at least one of those points to its repeated buggy behaviour.

Best regards,

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