Wednesday, January 30, 2013

MTG: Modern, UWR Midrange, 1st Decked Out Qualifier

I have some bad news and good news for you guys, I broke up with Twin :'(. I'll let that sink in for a bit. She's moved most of her stuff out of my apartment (account), but she left her 3 puppies (Kiki Jiki's) behind and they're starting to burn a hole in my pocket(thankfully got rid of them!). Things had taken a turn for the worse, every date(mtgo daily) we had started off really well (2-0), but things always seems to take a turn for the worse (0-2) for some insane reason. After four "dates" in a row, the emotional roller coaster, sense of wasted time and money, made me realize we hadn't had any fun since Grand Prix Toronto. May'be some day we'll get back together, but right now we're in different place.

After a few days I found a sweet profile (decklist) floating around, shortly after I met UWR Midrange online. Our small talk went well, and we made plans too meet up at the Decked Out Modern 2k Qualifier. Here's a few changes she made to her outfit(decklist) before we met.

-2 Aven Mindcensor, +2 Wall of Omen
Curve consideration, had too many 3 drops. Was told Mindcensor was only good vs Kiki Pod, and I expected either a lot of Jund or Burn (local shop metagame).

-1 Electrolyze, +1 Izzet Charm
Curve consideration again, most games I just really wanted a versatile 2 drop.

-2 Tempest of Light, +2 Spellskite
GW Aura (Boggle) has become virtually extinct. I went with Spellskite as a comparable hate card, but more versatile across the board, I brought it in vs Jund, Twin, and Tribal Zoo (r1).

UWR Midrange - Modern
Creatures: 14
1 Thundermaw Hellkite
4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Geist of Saint Traft
3 Vendilion Clique
2 Wall of Omens

Spells: 21
3 Izzet Charm
4 Lightning Helix
3 Remand
3 Path to Exile
2 Mana Leak
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Electrolyze

Lands: 25
2 Hallowed Fountain
2 Steam Vents
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Glacial Fortress
4 Celestial Colonnade
2 Tectonic Edge
4 Arid Mesa
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Plains
1 Mountain
2 Island

Sideboard 15
2 Counterflux
1 Batterskull
1 Baneslayer Angel
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Rule of Law
1 Disenchant
2 Pyroclasm
2 Sowing Salt
1 Relic of Progenitus
2 Spellskite

Here's a quick summary of my games. 

Round1: Deathrite Tribal Flames Zoo, 2-0
g1: I out helix'ed/geisted him ftw (for the win).
g2: I took 2 to turn 1 bolt a Deathrite, afterwards he stalled on 3 mana. On his upkeep I Pathed his Goyf, he got a a basic that made his fourth color then I tectonic edged his only green source, Stomping Ground.
Tectonic Edge Wins: 1

Round2: Spirit Jund, 2-0
g1: Geistd him good and hard.
g2: I gained 12 life off double Helix double Snapcaster. Wall of omens bought a ton of time against his 3 power army. Eventually went on the offence about turn 8 with V Clique and Geist, I was surprised how many cards I had access too from Snapcaster, Remand, and Wall of Omens.
g3-4: We played a few more fun games after, I won both. G3 I was able to keep him off double Black by Bolting his Deathrite and Tect Edging his Blood Crypt
Tectonic Edge Wins: 2

Round3: UW Control, 2-0
g1: Beat him down with a Vendilion Clique
g2: He stalled on 3 lands for a while, his fourth land was a Seachrome Coast that let me Tect Edge him back down to 3 and seal the deal with V Clique beats.
Tectonic Edge Wins: 3

Round 4: RG Tron, Sansan Zhen, 0-2
I just got smashed, nothing too see here. He played tight and didn't walk into Izzet Charm or Remand. We played about 3 practice games after where I barely managed to take one win. I consciously never showed him a Sowing Salt.

Round 5: Intentionall draw vs Smallpox.dec
Pox probably takes me to value town everyday unless I get Wall of Omens or turn 2 a Snapcaster for "guard" duty for Geist.

Quarterfinals: URg Twin, 2-1
g1: I flood forevar, double Tect him to stall/take pressure off, eventually Colonadde beat him down, weird game.
g2: Good blown out by the incredible duo of Blood Moon + Spell Pierce, alas I drew NO FETCHES EVAR this game :(.
g3: Turn2 Spellskite, T3 Engineered Explosives for 3, T4 V Clique, + removal in hand, kinda hard to lose from that position

Semifinals: Concession (aka Subway run!)
Both me and Sansan got conceded into the finals, weird.

Final(countdown): RG Tron, Sansan, 2-1
g1: Karn smash (again!).
g2: Sowing Salt FTW! Since I didn't show Sansan Salt's during our 6 games, so he toke a conservative line when he assembled Tron by leading with Oblivion Stone (neuters my offence) instead of running into soft counters, which bought me time draw Sowing Salt.
g3: Sansan mulls to 5 on the play, I draw double Tectonic Edge to break the Tron with Remand/Izzet Charm to keep him in check. My clock lethargic with Snapcaster making an appearance around t7, and V Clique on t8. After Remanding his Sylvan Scrying for the third turn in a row he plays Pyroclasm, at this point I have 5 lands in play, one is a Celestial Collanade, 3 are untapped, my hand is V clique, Lightning Bolt, and 2x Path to Exile, and he is at five. I double Path both my creatures, fetching a Mountain and Plains, untap, animate Collonade, hit him to 1 and then Bolt him.
Tectonic Edge Wins: 4 (I've missed you sooooo much <3)

So I just had to get a weeee bit lucky to take down the finals and win the 2 byes for the Modern 2k on February 16th. Thanks to Harry Tarantula for hosting the qualifier and thanks to Decked Out for hosting really awesome tournaments in Toronto. "Sadly" it seems I'm going to have to shell out a 100$ or so for a playset of Geist's so I can PTQ again Online and practice up for the 2K. Here are some card choices I've been Pondering over.

Sowing Salt/Molten Rain: I felt Sowing Salt either needs a 3rd copy since we don't see if often as 2of and it's critical vs Tron, or alternately we could go with 4x Molten Rain and have a aggressive LD plan.

Kitchen Finks: Seems like an interesting addition. Offers a different type of removal resistance from the rest of our deck, we can't really overload their removal but we can demand different types of answers.

Cryptic Command: The synergy between Snapcaster, Geist, and V Clique with this card is bonkers. Since you're role in match ups is very dynamic you can fully use every mode on Cryptic. Nothing seems sweeter then tapping down their team for lethal, unless you're returning Snapcaster with Cryptic while countering a spell.

Wall of Omens: I was impressed with it's spot on the curve, and it's utility against Jund's array of 3 power/dmg cards.

Path to Exile: We have a hard time beating Tarmogoyf and Kitchen Finks, perhaps a 4th for the board.

Remand: MOAR! With Bloodbraid Elf being evicted soon Remand is well positioned again across the board.

Grim Lavamancer: I absolutely love this card against a ton of the field,it dominates creature match ups, compliments your burn nicely, and can run away with games against Jund if left unchecked.

Sun Titan: Mostly as a value creature to go over the top of other grind/fair match ups. If Phantasmal Image becomes better then we can go deeper on a "combo" Titan.

Tectonic Edge: A surprising amount of wins came my way cause of Edge, I wonder if the mana base can support a 3rd.

Fetchlands: Blood Moon seems very popular right now, in my experience fetching a basic or two goes a long way toward negating it's effect. I'd like too go up to 11, which would power up a potential Grim Lavamancer.

Well that's it for this week. If you've got any questions, suggestions, or comments please feel free to post em.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Patient 9 Entry 4

Huza! The story and rough GDD (Game Design Document = the bible of the game) are "done". I say "done" cause every time I start working on any game, I keep getting more ideas which leads to segments doubling or tripling their original length.

I'm really excited about the "choose your own past" character growth mechanic. In my opinion the key to ANY decision based system is you have to add weight to each one, or else you're just presenting the illusion of choice (which honestly is acceptable at times, but that should be the spice/variety of your design, not the main course). Hopefully I'm able to keep true to that belief the further I get in development.

Schizophrenia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Sociopath are the 3 mental illness' that I'm going to use as archetypes that the player can choose for Patient 9. Each one, I hope, will have a unique play style and feel.

PTSD = fear
Schizophrenia = weird, trippy
Sociopath = power, villainous

One fact I sadly have to come to terms with is I can't cover all the possibilities and have to shelve a lot of neat ideas that I want to introduce. Some of them just lack depth, others are too similar with other branches, etc. I guess I can be happy knowing that I'm developing a bucket list of ideas that I can use in future games (of which there will be plenty).

The biggest problems for me has been

1) too many potential paths
Every possibility branch you add increases the total amount of combinations you have, which makes balancing/play testing a lot harder. More isn't more. Especially for a short indie game like Patient 9, it's better too have a few tight storylines that deliver a quality experience instead of 320984 potential storylines that all feel like the same 50 non sexy shades of grey.

2 fleshing out each archetype fully
As cool as it is to have a character idea, for the format I've chosen, I need 2 potential branches, and 2 more potential branches on top of those, resulting in a minimum of 4 variants of the original idea. This is kinda hard since some neat ideas have a bit of a lack of variety in that regard.  Also each one of those ideally should have a unique game ending option.

I designed/brainstormed the branching character growth options in spreadsheet along with the list of levels in the game.

spoilers "hidden"

In the very near future I'm going too put a design freeze on the story development, this game has got to get done as early as possible, no more durdling (doing very little). During the story crafting process I came to an opinion that I'm really liking . . .

Balance is bullshit
Seriously, if you want too create a cool experience, you cant have one be "fair" compared too the other. Take the sociopath vs the PTSD characters. One of them is a power monger potential knife wielding maniac, the other is a traumatized victim. There is no way in hell they should have the same game play feel, which leads to them being imbalanced, which I think is perfectly fine. If mechanically on a combat level they where equal, it would compromise the feel of each character.

You wouldn't feel afraid playing the PSTD character, you'd engage encounters the exact same as the sociopath. You wouldn't feel powerful or "monstrous" playing the Sociopath either, at best you'd feel like an aggressive variant.

One of my favourite space games back in the day was Colony Wars for the Playstation 1. When designing the 2 opposing factions the developers got 2 different designers and had each one make the other faction separate the other. The end result was really cool, one faction was cold steel based with saucer based designs like Star Trek, and the other faction was more based on Navy Battle Cruiser style designs with a green army tank color scheme. This approach gave each faction a very unique feel. I think for the next game I make, odds are I'll touch on branching storylines again, I might contact a creative friend after I've designed the rough story format and have em flesh out a character or two. I'm sure it'll provide some sweet contrast that'll add re playability.

Now I'm finally ready to start redesigning the behaviours and laying the rough groundwork for everything in the game. So soon and so close!

Lastly here's some doodles/sketches for potential enemies

some knife wielding lobotomy case

screamer or something

gotta love those muzzles
sketch i had too do to gain entry

Thursday, January 24, 2013

MTG: Standard, URw MOAR MORTARS, Entry 2

Braving the harsh Canadian winter (it's comin’, ya know), I treked to my LGS to test UWr Mortars' mettle. Here are the desperate ravings of my battles that day...

Round 1vs Virtual bye
I played against extremely new player with an illegal deck. After our games me and Andrew Oyen helped fix his deck before the next round.

Round 2 vs GW Aggro, 2-1
g1: I bury him in 2-for-1's.
g2: I got greedy and used both of my O-Rings on Loxodon Smiters and lose 10 turns later to a Pike-neutering Rest in Peace, while I proceeded to flood.
g3: Basically a repeat of the first game; 2-for-1’s, buried, etc.

Round 3 vs GB Ooze a la Kibler, 1-2
g1: My opponent leads with turn 2 Ooze, turn 3 Rancor, you know the drill. I lost that game...go figure.
g2: Stabalized at one life with removal that actually works (O-ring, Unsummon)
g3: I got knocked silly by a trio of angry Dreg Manglers. I guess you could say I was, thoroughly mangled.

Round 4 vs Mono Red, 2-0
There's not a lot to say here, my blockers produced a lot of card advantage (how fair is that?!) and I promptly crushed him.

Round 5 vs Junk Reanimator, 0-2
g1: My opponent skillfully taps 2 lands and casts Mulch revealing...

...As the game drags on I battle through Thragtusks and Spirit tokens before I'm completely dominated by an uncounterable Griselbrand. Eight mana isn't very restrictive when all of your Mulch's get 2 lands. Ah, well.
g2: I Thought Scour myself twice – each one milling a Jace, Memory Adept. I guess it's true what they say "Everyman kills what he loves." The game ends with another Caverned Griselbrand enabled by a couple of sick Mulch hits.

After struggling against Griselbrand, Predator Ooze, and Lotleth Troll, I went back to the "drawing board" to readjust my removal suite.

The drawing board: 

+1 Mountain -1 Plains: MOAR MORTARS!

+1 Sphinx's Revelation: Okay, maybe I don’t hate a good revelation. Maybe I just disliked how poorly set up the UWr Flash version was at not dying, making it a poor use of the card (that or I just can't play it properly...or the meta’s weird). Now I feel much more capable of drawing the game out for the life of me during X turns.

+1 Runechanters Pike: This card is just amazing! It lets me completely dominate the board post-sweeper, lets me end the game extremely fast, pressures decks that go bigger than me, and even holds off obscenely large creatures like Wolfir Silverheart.

+2 Azorious Charm: The biggest problems my deck had came from regenerators and indestructible, slimy jerks. Azorious Charm shores up that weakness only because we can close a game out a lot easier now (with 50% moar Runechanter's Pike!).

+3 Terminus: Back in my day, Wraths actually swept the board, Supreme Verdict just drinks on the job and leaves a ton of problems for the next shift (what a dick). Terminus though punches in 9-5, Febreezes the board, all while winning employee of the year. Now I’m willing to nuke my own weenies since I get to do the same to my opponent.

+1 Oblivion Ring: I found myself boarding this in a lot. Sadly it's not Augur/Tiago food, but it's so good at answering an early Ooze, Smiter, Planeswalker, etc.

Erase: I didn't have many artifacts to target with Sundering Growth, and Rancor is a very annoying Magic card. Maybe someday I'll bring in three O-rings, an Erase and a Growth to stop a Rest in Peace or some other equally backbreaking enchantment – much like Bane’s knee into Batman’s spine.

Switcheroo: I have to see if this trumps Griselbrand. If it does, I sense some very angry Reanimator players in the near future.

Dramatic Rescue: Wanted to try it out. I'm liking it so far, but it might just be a unnecessary – and greedier Unsummon.

After said changes we arrive at . . . 
Lands: 24
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Steam Vents
3 Glacial Fortress
4 Clifftop Retreat
4 Sulfur Falls
1 Island
2 Mountain
1 Plains
1 Evolving Wilds

Creatures/Win Conditions: 16
4 Augur of Bolas
4 Restoration Angel
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 Jace, Memory Adept
3 Runechanter's Pike

Snapcaster/Augur Food: 20
4 Thought Scour
2 Pillar of Flame
1 Dramatic Rescue
3 Azorius Charm
3 Mizzium Mortars
1 Searing Spear
1 Izzet Charm
2 Syncopate
2 Sphinx's Revelation

Sideboard:  15
1 Psychic Spiral
1 Mystic Retrieval
2 Dissipate
1 Sundering Growth
1 Erase
3 Oblivion Ring
1 Mizzium Mortars
3 Terminus
1 Switcheroo
1 Unsummon (doing gods work from the sideboard)

Well, that's it for MOAR MORTARS for a bit. I'm gonna be playing a few dailies on MTGO before rotation completely changes Standard. I did win a local qualifier for a 2k Modern event, earning me 2 byes, with UWR Midrange. The deck has been on fire, winning some recent MTGO PTQ’s and GP Bilbao. I'll be writting up a report and my thoughts on the list in a few days.

Edited and Revised by Andrew Boa

Friday, January 18, 2013


In this post I'll be discussing a saucy anti aggro/midrange brew based of Gerry Thompson's UWr Flash. I've developed Flash this direction due to the abundance of aggressive decks like G/W Aggro, Mono Red, and other midrange decks present in my local and Magic Online metagame. Without further ado. . .

Lands: 24
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Steam Vents
3 Glacial Fortress
4 Clifftop Retreat
4 Sulfur Falls
1 Island
1 Mountain
2 Plains
1 Evolving Wilds

Creatures/Win Conditions: 16
4 Augur of Bolas
4 Restoration Angel
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 Jace, Memory Adept
2 Runechanter's Pike

Snapcaster/Augur Food: 20
4 Thought Scour
2 Pillar of Flame
1 Unsummon
1 Azorius Charm
3 Mizzium Mortars
1 Searing Spear
2 Izzet Charm
2 Syncopate
3 Desperate Ravings
1 Sphinx's Revelation

Sideboard: 15
1 Planar Cleansing
1 Psychic Spiral
1 Mystic Retrieval
2 Dissipate
2 Sundering Growth
2 Oblivion Ring
2 Pillar of Flame
1 Rolling Temblor
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Azorius Charm
1 Runechanter's Pike

Here's a quick breakdown of the deck and it's unique decisions.

4 Augur of Bolas/4 Snapcaster Mage/4 Restoration Angel
We all know why these dorks are good, nothing too see here.

3 Mizzium Mortars, 0 Supreme Verdict
I always hated relying on 1 Verdict, it was far too inconsistent and frequently led to me getting overrun. I also disliked nuking my own board, since I found it hard to consistently finish my opponent off. Mizzium Mortars solves both these problems. It's a strong early game play, gives you an out to Loxodon Smitter, is a great turn 4 play with Snapcsater, and serves as a wrath variant that lets you keep targets for Runechanter's Pike.

2 Jace Memory Adept
I found myself boarding in 2 Jace's in practically every match I played, with Big Rakdos (4 Aristocrats, 4 Thundermaw Hellkites) being the exception. He's very strong against control decks, sidestepping all their creature removal and giving you a critical threat diversity. Against midrange and Aggro decks he threatens to bury them in card advantage while increasing his loyalty.

2 Runechanters Pike
I added the second cause I was so sick of removing it from Thought Scour, Augur of Bolas, and Desperate Ravings. This is a key win condition that potentially kills in 2 attacks.

2 Izzet Charm, 2 Syncopate
I've been very happy with these two. Charm provides a critical number of soft counters which helps keep control or combo(Omniscience) in check while being perfectly serviceable as a shock or careful study. Syncopate is excellent as a 2 drop or going long against big badass spells, about 3 out of 4 times you only have to pay 1-2.

3 Desperate Ravings, 4 Thought Scour, 1 Sphinx's Revelation
Many games I had Revelation rot in my hand while I got beat down by some number of Smitters or Chainwalkers. I found Revelating for low amounts was completely ineffective since my deck was answer light and I was too far behind on board. That's why I made the switch to Desperate Ravings, it fits on the curve easier, generates lots of card advantage, while letting you access more cards in the key early stages of the game. By adding more win conditions too the deck I've reduced the rage inducing sting of random discard. Thought Scour's are critical to hitting your land drops, fueling your Pike, and keeping the spell count high for your blue creatures. I still want access to Sphinx's Revelation, but I don't want it in my opener often nor do I want it to be my primary strategy, so 1, maybe later 2, is a good amount.

1 Searing Spear, 2 Pillar of Flames, 1 Azorius Charm, 1 Unsummon,
Since you see roughly half your deck every game, and games tend to go longer, it's very important to have unique and versatile effects available too you. Azorius Charm is extremely versatile, Pillars are for undying creatures, the Spear is for Hellrider and to make combat tricky, and 1 Unsummon has consistently done god's work for me providing me tempo and insane mana efficiency.

Match ups/Sideboarding
The sideboard is pretty obvious. Psychic Spiral + Mystic Retrieval are my package against practically every control deck, especially Esper Frownyard.dek. Planar Cleansing are for the Midrange decks everywhere that are abusing Garruk Primal Hunter, Sorin, etc. Oblivion Rings are played over Detention Sphere so we can target other Detention Sphere's, both are played so we can answer a Planeswalker, even if it's at a disadvantage. Lastly there's more varied removal and counters to help adapt to various match ups.

I'm very confident in this list and it's ability to deal with the wide gauntlet that is standard. It's currently geared to fight aggressive and midrange strategies, which litters my metagame, and judging from recent tournament reports it's present in yours as well. The control match ups aren't unwinnable, but I'd say MOAR MORTARS has about a 2/5 match win rate. My next post will include a mini tournament report, thoughts/feelings on match ups, and a starting point for sideboarding.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

MTG: Modern, Evil Twin v3

This is the evolution of my deck from GP Toronto. The report and break down can be found here. The Jund mirror has also improved since then; I still consider the match up unfavorable, but it's not as abysmal as it once was. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the list, and I prefer it over the tempo variants that have been doing well though that's more of a personal choice. I'll have a report after Sunday detailing my preformance in Sunday’s Magic Online Pro Tour Qualifier.

Modern – Evil Twin v3
Lands (23)
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Arid Mesa
2 Steam Vents
1 Watery Grave
1 Blood Crypt
1 Stomping Ground
4 Island
2 Mountain
2 Cascade Bluffs
1 Desolate Lighthouse

Creatures (15)
3 Grim Lavamancer
1 Snapcaster Mage
4 Deceiver Exarch
4 Pestermite
3 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Spells (22)
4 Splinter Twin
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Sleight of Hand
4 Serum Visions
2 Lightning Bolt
2 Mizzium Skin
2 Izzet Charm
2 Spell Pierce

Sideboard (15)
2 Blood Moon
2 Negate
2 Engineered Explosives
3 Spellskite
3 Ancient Grudge
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Echoing Truth

New additions to the list:

Grim Lavamancer: This is the bee’s knees in the format right now, in my opinion. Once things get going, an active Lavamancer can completely decimate Jund's offence (Deathrite Shaman, Dark Confidant, Bloodbraid Elf, even shrinking Tarmgoyf). It’s also a fantastic method for stretching out Jund’s precious removal spells.  This is the main reason the Jund match up has improved.

Snapcaster Mage: Better known as the “9th combo piece blue creature”. Though not as strong in this list as it is in UR Twin – due to a relative low instant/sorcery density – it remains an all around solid value creature. It still manages to catch players off-guard every now and then.

Lightning Bolt: Bolts in this deck are largely experimental for me, in place of the tried and true Flame Slash from my older lists. I want to see for myself how beneficial instant speed and the ability to fry Liliana is over blowing up troublesome cards like Spellskite. Right now, I'd say that they're relatively even and the optimal choice is entirely metagame dependant.

Sadly, I had to cut the Izzet Boilerworks due to a rise in land destruction from many of the prominent decks. Over the past week or two I have had to contend with Boom//Bust, Tectonic Edge, Molten Rain, and even Avalanche Riders (it’s becoming more popular in the Kiki-Pod lists).

Spellskites: Lately, Ive been finding them lackluster against Jund. It just gives them more opportunities to space out their removal properly against you in addition to playing very poorly into Liliana. Frankly, I’m at a loss right now as to how to fit them back in the maindeck, anyway. Mizzium Skins are a potential cut, but I don't want to go too low as I don't want to have my resistance to Abrupt Decay be public information.

Blood Moon: Still works just fine in the 4-color variant since all you really need in play is a single Island. It's stolen many games from UW Control, as I’ve noticed that the vast majority of their white sources come from nonbasics. I'll occasionally bring them in against Jund as well, but it depends on how the match up is feeling.

I've also been pondering about a few cards lately, for your consideration...

Ignorant Bliss: You lose a lot of games to Jund from a volley of discard spells, this trades at value with a Inquistion or Thoughtseize. The only problem is that you're losing tempo (maybe a variant could be built that simply ignores this).

Noxious Revival: Another tool against discard, and it's the best Revive variant that can function with the nature of this deck. I think it's best in Snapcaster-heavy builds, ideally with Thought Scour so you can access it more easily. However, this card just might be too slow and costly for its effect.

Pulse of the Grid: A very sick and stable instant speed card draw option. If you can empty your hand onto the board, profitably rebuying this seems potentially insane.

Shrine of Piercing Vision: The amount of cards this can look at is crazy. Obviusly it's a litlte inconsistent, but if you can draw out the game with some of the controlling cards (Lavamancer and Spellskite, for example) it’s totally worth the wait.

With these two cards I might be able to brew up a variant that tries to empty its hand on the board early without folding to what the opponent can do. Perhaps something like Remand, Repeal, or even Into the Roil might be viable. These would fuel your Pulse of the Grid, and create some really tough decisions for your opponent.

Does the opponent tap out?
1 – Combo win
2 – Draw cards if you don't have it (roughly equal transaction)

Does the opponent keep removal mana open and say go?
1 – Draw cards (again, advantage for you)
2 – Attempt a combo kill (with or without protection)

Might be worth some testing some time after the PTQ. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or email me at Wish me luck!

Edited by Andrew Boa

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Patient 9 Entry 3

It's been a while since my last post. I've had a bit of a hiccup in production, and I wound up getting in a weird little personal rut. I find this odd, since I am still coming off a very strong tournament performance in Magic: the Gathering, coming in 19th at Grand Prix Toronto at the beginning of December (my tournament report (here's the link) was even published on a big website!). You'd think that success in one field would motivate me in another, but that sadly doesn't seem to be the case.

I'm taking personal steps to create a productive and consistent routine. I'll go into more depth in the next few entries; for now, this is where Patient 9 is at . . .

- I've got basic walking and dialogue behaviors working for the player. They're sadly extremely buggy and unpolished. I'm looking to get my programmer friend to build on the.

- A loose story has been planned out. I should research into getting some type of spreadsheet program to help deal with all the branching paths in the game. I can only imagine how hard this process was for a game like Mass Effect 3 (speaking of which, I should try to get my hands on their tools – people are very forthcoming if you just ask them).

- Most of the mechanics and the character growth are planned. The following still needs to be done:

- A bit of research into the basic archetypes of mental conditions I want to touch on (e.g. Sociopath, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopath (VERY similar to sociopath in a lot of regards), etc.).
- Ensure that decisions made by the player add a noticeable change to the game play. For example, if you pick a homicidal killer background you’ll have access to a murder knife (that the other backgrounds don't have access too), and will be capable of going toe-to-toe with other enemies in the asylum.

- Started talking to two buddies of mine asking for their help; one is a programmer and the other a musician. Things are going slow but hopefully they'll end up coming to the dark side in order to help me finish this game. If things go well they might even write a little piece on their experiences working on Patient 9.

- Graphic assets are coming along as I continue to work on a friend’s game (producing tiles for him).

In the next few days I'll be burning the midnight oil to complete as much of the story and mechanics as I can. Things always change when you start laying down the foundation of a game. The next blog post will be at the beginning of the week, and despite having a few tournaments in the next few days I'm feeling really good about the next week. In the future I'm hoping to pump out about 2 or 3 entries per week. I plan to start ranging my topics into areas such as tutorial articles or design matters.