Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Mimeoplasm: Buried Alive

I am currently playing The Mimeoplasm in Commander, in the very form it came in in the package.I really like the deck and I actually think the deck is pretty strong. There are some pretty interesting choices for me to make on the deck - some cards need to go into another deck, there are many cards the deck really wants and there are a number of cards that are in the deck that I simply disagree with. However, I am keeping it as is for now (though now may be coming to a close). However, I really like the deck, so I am sure I'll write about it again later.

Today, I want to focus on a single card: Burried Alive.

We all know it's a good card. It most definitely usually causes card disadvantage, but it is so good at what it does, that it just still kicks ass. However, that is a description befit of a card like this, which is known most for the degenerate plays it enables.

That's not what I wanted to talk about, though. I want to talk about the skill intensiveness of the card. You're used to seeing the card in normal decks, where it isn't so hard to choose what you'll bury with it. (I was, anyway.) In Commander the card is a completely different beast. In some decks it's still going to be that straightforward card. This deck isn't one of those.

The thing with the card in this deck is that it often forces you to make choices that you have little to base off right now, but that are possibly going to matter much later in the game. Oh, and it's very possible that the difference between taking one card and another is going to be the difference between controlling an opponent completely or getting controlled by that opponent.

I have two examples of this. So far, I have played the card four times and the first time I just didn't know the deck well enough to make a good choice and the second time it was just plain and simple an answer to the Prototype Portal imprinting a Spine of Ish Sah. Both other times, though, it presented me with very interesting choices.

The first time, the cards I picked included a Brawn/Wonder. That is to say, I had picked two cards and my third card was going to be either Brawn or Wonder. I wanted something to make any attack I made something to be reckoned with. The question was in deciding which one to choose.
I opted for Wonder in the end. The idea was that I was most afraid of facing off against the equipment player that used lots of big dragons to attack with. I chose for the card that not only aided me in my attacking, but the one that also helped me block his annoying guys.

As it was, I ended up facing the dragon player after the other two players had been eliminated. And Wonder actually mattered. It meant that he wasn't able to mow many of my guys down with Scourge of Kher Ridge.
I still lost to the fact that he activated the anti-flying ability of the Scourge twice in one turn (leaving him with two guys I was unable to beat through and me with two big enough guys) and attacking with a pumped Akroma next turn (which has protection from Blue....)

The other game was a one on one game. I had lost the previous game due to trying to be the beatdown with a Sol Ring, a lot of gas and a good curve (5,6,7... and then some more 6/7 mana cards).
Now, I was looking at the board state. I opted for Triskelavus and Artisan of Kozilek (for the power), as those two put a very good Flying clock on the opponent through Commander damage, while also giving you something if it is hit by removal - they are just awesome targets for The Mimeoplasm.
The hard card was the third one. I had Brawn in hand, so that wasn't an option. However, it being in my hand didn't mean I could just skip over Wonder, as having trample was reasonable at best against my opponent, while he was low on flying creatures, so Wonder was really good.
On the other hand, my Triskelavus already gave me flying on the first assault, so it was all about what happened after he got rid of that threat. Neither of us had anything interesting in the bin, so it would be a good thing to just make sure I had something else for The Mimeoplasm to become. And that's what I ended up choosing: Avatar of Woe.

I won that game, as my opponent scooped to second coming of The Mimeoplasm, when it was pretending to be an Avatar, with two counters from my opponent's Saffi. I had played a Gravepact, and used Trisk tokens to kill his guys, but Saffi and Acidic Slime conspired to also take down my Triskelavus, and with no more mana open than he had guys, that left both of us without creatures.
Had I not chosen the Avatar, I would still have been in a very good position, as I had a hand full of gas, while my opponent was playing off the top of his deck. However, he had still over twenty life and no single card in my hand was as destructive as the Avatar could be without even attacking for Commander damage, so it wasn't a won game in that case.

As someone always looking to make the best play, I love a card like this, which really tests my skill. I really like the card in the deck.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Reviewer's Eye

I haven't written for a while now, so I am going to give you an extra long post in return for that. Brace yourselves!
About a week ago I was watching a movie. Now, that in itself isn't worth a story, but something happened that is worth that story. Something changed inside of me. Suddenly something clicked and I was watching from a completely diffferent perspective. One that I found really interesting.
Have you ever read a review of a movie - or an episode of a series, or whatever - in which the writer seems to be ignoring the merit of the story itself, and very mechanically talking about the quality of the special effects and other minutiae?
I have. And it annoyed me. A lot. At least, it used to annoy me. It might still annoy me, I haven't read another one of those since this event. Nevertheless, I think I understand it now.
Basically, I was watching the movie and suddenly I was thinking about the origin of the movie. I realized that though this was all very much about rural england, but it was still a very hollywood show.
That meant that I knew that the main character was going to be the hero. There wasn't a doubt about it that he was going to end up on top. At the time it seemed like he was going insane, but that was no longer an option in my mind. The suspense was gone.
All of a sudden, I wasn't so much watching an interesting movie with interesting characters, I was watching a sequence of plot twists, action sequences and the inevitable thrust towards the good conclusion.
It was then that they had a plot twist that was sooner than I had expected. That was interesting for a second or two. After that, it was annoying how contrived that plot twist was. Small details that were unlikely started bothering me and I was not wondering whether the second most important character was going to join the main character, but when and how it was going to happen - in a very mechanical way.
I could ramble on about how it makes little sense that with barely any evidence, a whole group of people just takes up arms against people they have known all their lives (and follow someone they have known less than a year), but that's not what this is about.
I am not here to write such a review as I was talking about before (or write any review at all). I am here to tell the story how I now understand how such reviews come into existence.
I think I used to think that it was all about rationalizing. And I don't doubt that there are cases in which that is what happens in a review. However, I have experienced a new thing - actually being annoyed by things like that during the movie. I don't know whether it was a change in how I look at movies (I haven't watched any since) or that it was just the moment or that it was this particular movie, but I wasn't enjoying the movie for the movie itself, I was actually paying attention to the details and as such, I was annoyed by them.
Glad to see you stayed here to read my entire ramble! (And yeah, I realize it didn't get as long as I though it would when I started typing. Still, I don't feel like removing that message at the top.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I made it / I didn't make it

So, I promised a post that would wrap my results from my NaNoWriMo after the last day. However, the title basically says it all.

What? You don't understand the title? Well, the point is that you can say that I made if you like, but you can also say that I didn't.

I did make it to 50,000. validated that and also says I won.
However, that was through cheating by abusing the time zone setting.
Basically, I needed 1,500 more words by the moment time was technically over.
However, the time was over here and not all over the world.
And besides, one can still call today today if it's one hour past midnight and you're still up even though it is not technically seen.

So yes, I needed one extra hour. I suppose that in the end, I didn't make it in time. I did make it, though. I wrote 50,000. And I wrote 13,000 words today. And I also kept writing on my blog every once in a while. And in the mean time, I have also been writing on (today is one of the only days I missed this month) and that was besides what I wrote for my novel. All in all, I'm somewhat happy with what I accomplished, even though I had put the bar much higher for myself originally.

And that's my story.