I was really into Magic: The Gathering when I was younger. And I still follow it today, and even play when I get the chance. I have Magic Online, which many people dislike, but there really isn't anything not to like about it, as far as I can see. But we're not here to debate the merits of the program. We're here to play.
On March 1, release events began to celebrate the online release of the game's 37th expansion set, Guildpact. Everyone who entered a release event got a Teysa avatar which can be used in Vanguard games. It has a neat ability that I like, and so I decided to enter. I didn't care how well I did, I just wanted to participate. My original plan was to do a booster draft, but the information I read didn't say anything about awarding Teysa avatars to participants of those. To be on the safe side, I entered an event that definitely provided the avatar, and that I happened to like: a league.
The way leagues work is that you start with a tournament pack (of Ravnica, in this case) and three booster packs (of Guildpact). Using this pool, you maintain a deck and play as many best-2-out-of-3 matches as you like against other participants of the league. The first five matches per week count toward your point total, awarding two points for a win and one for a loss, and additional points you gain from matches after the fifth count toward breaking ties. The league goes for four weeks, and after every week, you get to add another booster pack. Exactly which set the pack comes from each week depends on the league, and at this point, I'm not sure which set my next pack will come from. My guess would be Ravnica. But we shall see.
So, these are the cards I started with. And my skills with tables are fucking atrocious, so it's all just gonna be in a big column because I know no one will care enough to read this page, thus making the effort to sit and hammer out a properly-tabled version a waste of time. People come here to see badly-drawn kitties, not read about some shlub playing Magic.
Now, I do kinda suck at this, but I don't see any game-winning cards here. One of my rares, Sky Swallower, is unplayable. What is a boy to do?
My first thought was a blue/red "Izzet" deck. Then I considered that a green/red "Gruul" deck might be possible. Then I thought about a black/white "Orzhov" deck. And the more I thought about that, the more I liked it. So that's what I made. For those who have Magic Online, you can download the deck .txt file here: Orzhov 1
1 Orzhov Basilica
2 Blind Hunter
1 Conclave's Blessing
The first game I played with this deck, I won. Then I lost the next two, which meant I lost the match. But the deck seemed pretty fun. Souls of the Faultless is a great thing to have, and Voyager Staff is full of neat tricks. But I lack a gamebreaking card to help me win. I have to just sit and be content and hope I eventually wear him down.
At some point, I decided that I was going to try all my different ideas throughout the league, After all, it isn't like a normal limited tournament where you're confined to one deck. You can edit all you want. So I changed to an Izzet one.
1 Belltower Sphinx
1 Compulsive Research
This deck lost two straight games, though in my defense, the opponent had a nice little combo of Gleancrawler and Thoughtpicker Witch, which made sure I never drew anything good. He also had a Silhana Starfletcher available to block my fliers, though he seemed nervous about my ability to make my Wee Dragonauts big enough to kill said Starfletcher, and never blocked it. But again, I have nothing that helps me simply win the game. Maybe Tibor and Lumia, but I never found out.
So next I tried the Gruul deck.
1 Battering Wurm
1 Galvanic Arc
I played this for maybe three-quarters of a game, then conceded and sideboarded back to the Orzhov deck. This deck has nothing. Big creatures without evasion don't seem to matter in limited games, because it was never worth my while to attack. Also, what? I have nothing to help me win the game. This is a real big problem. My pool of cards is just "adequate," and adequate doesn't cut it. Anyway, the Orzhov deck won the next game, then lost the last one. And also, I learned that I have a knack for doing things wrong, and then realizing the better option when it's just too late, usually within five seconds of clicking the "OK" button. Ah well.
I haven't tried it yet, but my next deck will be this one, which I will call Orzhov 2:
1 Orzhov Basilica
2 Blind Hunter
1 Boros Fury-Shield
How will it fare? We shall see. My record thus far is this:
MATCHES PLAYED: 3
I have now played a game with Orzhov 2. It lost easily. In my first game, I managed to play one nonland card. And I can tell that I'm not going to start winning no matter what deck I use. I just have no cards that can win me games. I may as well be playing with a deck of 40 basic lands.
The next deck is a black/green/white concoction.
1 Battering Wurm
1 Douse in Gloom
At this point, no one in my league is playing, so I can't test it. This will be the last game I am required to play this week, so after I lose, I can sit and wait until I get to add another pack. I deserve a fucking bomb rare after the shit I've been forced to play with thus far.
MATCHES PLAYED: 4
I won! Holy snap in a hat!
After a particularly hellish night of work, I went home and quickly downed a Smirnoff Ice. And while my brain was addled by alcohol (as addled as one Smirnoff Ice can get a man), I decided that it would be amusing to play my last match of the week that way. But I actually won the match two games to one. And maybe I just didn't feel the stress of my situation because I was buzzed, but it seemed pretty easy, too. The game I lost, I lost due to my opponent putting a Wurmweaver Coil on a Battering Wurm, effectively making it a 10/9 unblockable creature. While I theoretically could have stopped it if I had drawn Ostiary Thrull, I didn't. I sideboarded in Voyager Staff for the third game to help prevent such troubles in the future, but I didn't draw it and didn't need it, as he put the Wurmweaver Coil on a Saproling token that I could chump block until I won with Blind Hunters and Dimir House Guard. So, yeah.
The black/green/white deck seems quite nice. I think I'll stick with it, though I may test-drive the blue/red deck again just to see if it can go okay when it actually draws.
MATCHES PLAYED: 5