Today (Saturday Sept. 24th) was the Innistrad prerelease, and I don't need to tell you how it all went down, nor do I have to tell you how good it was. It was awesome, as it was as set I personally was looking foward too in a long time. I was pumped, literally, for this prerelease. For those not in the know, these are events where you can go play with the new set early and get a glimpse of the new set coming out. This can be especially important for type-2 or Standard as most call it. Magic is a home to most formats, but Legacy and Standard are the most played.
So I get there about ten to starting time, pay my entry...and wait around for ten more minutes after. I talk with some guys about the new set and they say they love it so far. This is good, but I didn't know anything about this set in Limited. Limited is a format where your either drafting or playing sealed. Sealed is where your given pack and you make a 40 card deck out of said packs. Drafting I'll get into later, as we drafted later in the evening. So I sit down and open my packs. I pull Curse of Stalked Prey, Stromkirk Noble, Geist Honored Monk, Moorland Haunt, Elite Inquisitor, and a huge ass bomb, Skaab Ruinator. I can't even begin to tell you how pumped I was for pulling Ruinator. This also basically meant I was playing blue, as none of my other rares looked interesting at the time, (something I would retract later). We had fifty minutes to build a deck, plenty of time I thought. Nope, it wasn't. Turned out I was conflicted with which colors I wanted to play. I eventually settled on a Blue/Black/Green. IMO, it was a bleh decision and it still is now that I think about it. It looked like this:
Trust me when I say this is easily not the best deck I could have been playing early on. The deck was 43 card while I usually play 40; I would have to hope I would draw into the Travelers Amulet for some quick ramp, because I had nothing to ramp into, nor did my curve allow for topping land I would need in situations. In short, this deck is a clusterfuck, and it shows in my first two rounds of play.
I play one of the best players at locals who's been playing this game more than I have, He's beating me with 2/2's and transformed Werewolves. I pull out a Screeching Bat transformed into a 5/5 Stalking Vamire. I cast Ruinator and get out Festerhide Boar next turn after killing a creature with Ruinator and win a few turns later in game one. Game two was me getting dominated by weenies and being to slow. Game three I got mana screwed royally.
As I was going through my stuff, seeing if I can tweak my deck a bit more, round two starts. Dammit.
Honestly, I got mana screwed hardcore both games.
It was then I decided I needed to change my deck up a good bit, complete;y taking it apart. Sealed is the only format that allows this rule to be in place, plus, my deck wasn't so hot.
I really didn't know how to feel about the deck. I know it felt better than before. Time would tell.
I can't remember a thing from round three for some reason. All I remember is winning 2-0 due to Unholy Fiend being equipped with Flail. Game two was me getting out Monk and winning from there.
I'm picking up steam at this point. Shop owner asks if we all want to draft after the sealed tourney. I say sure. Shortly after, the next round starts.
The dude I am facing is really good, just like the guy in the first round. He gets an early lead, but then I come back with Monk and a Voiceless Spirit equipped with a flail. Game 2 is a slaughter and I keep a hand I should have mulled. He locks me into Unholy Fiend's effect and as I cast flyers, he gets his giant spider out. Game three was back and forth for a long time, then things got strange. I summon Makeshift Mauler, then later I play Ruinator equipped with a Flail and Trepantaion Blade. He kills one of my creatures, then pumps his spider due to Morbid setting off. I summon Moon Heron, give it the flail, and win when I attack with both of the creatures next turn.
Two in a row? Well shit, yay I guess. I have to win one more in a row. While waiting, I talk with some of the other players. I see another Ruinator and I ask if its for trade. He says yes, so we decide to trade after the Sealed event.
Round 5 was a slaughter for my opponent in the worst of ways possibly. I pull combos off out of my ass EVERYWHERE. Sorry to come off brash and like an ass, but its the only way I could describe such scenarios. Game one I get out all my fliers and Trepantation Blade her to death via the pump. Game two I set off Sentry, and I get monk up to a 5/5 via Demonmail, inflicting 10 damage a turn.
At this point I am thinking I am in top 8....nope. My tie breakers suck ass and I am out.
So now I have to wait a half an hour JUST for sealed to finish. THEN...its time for draft.
Drafting is simplistically easy, all you have to do is pick one card from a Magic pack you think is the best, then you pass the rest of the pack left or right.
My picks were ok at best. Still got me a good record though. I can't even remember the deck at the moment though, because its nearly 3AM MST while I write this. I know I am playing B/W Tokens,,,in draft. At first glance, this might not turn out too well.
Game one I get overpowered due to Howlpack Alpha being retarded good on turn 3. Game two was closer, but he gets 2 Intangible Virtue out with Spirit tokens getting bigger thanks to Gavony Township. He just combo's me.
Not exactly. Remember, this IS only the first round after all.
I played a newbie to the game, so while playing, I decided to help him out with certain effects. We even had a few laughs along the way. I won't bother explaining this one,
After the round, I just go around and BS with everyone. yeah, its winding down, with it being 9:30 and all. We started at 11 AM by the way, so yeah, everyone was tired at this point. Save for me. Go go caffine.
I play a good friend with a monster mill deck. Game 1 he gets one Curse of the Blood Tome on me and I go "oh shit" because I could lose cards I need. I get out 2-3 flyers and dominate him in the air. Game two I get out Typhoid Rats equipped with Blade and I keep milling his lands.
Welp. shows almost over it seems. Some one with the same record comes up to me and says we might have to play because we have the same record.
Round 4 was a tie between amazing and stupid. Game 1 am confronted by a cellar door and a bunch of tokens. He also plays a ton of flyers and he wins. Game 2 was much much different as I get my creature + weapon combos going with Rats and flyers with Trepantaion Blade and Runechanter's Pike. Game three I get out my dudes too fast for him to keep up and I control his field too fast, mainly setting him up for Skirsdag High Priest, getting me a 5/5 demon flyer that essentially "sealed" this game.
I took 4th. Pulled shit.
That feel when you don't pull a Garruk, Liliana or Snapcaster Mage.
I still did get another Ruinator though, so that is definitely a plus, as its easily going to be one of the more broken cards in the up coming meta.
All in all, Innistrad was fun to play in a pre-relase setting and I hope I can do so again next week at the release. Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. Audios!
As I listen to Honest Eyes by Black Tide, you know that Street Fighter X Tekken theme, I began to think about and look back on the very short lifespan of Marvel Three, going into Ultimate in November. Judging by video and overall game play of the newer Marvel Three, Ultimate seems like a much needed improvement over what does appear to be a somewhat rushed game. I say somewhat because certain game elements seem out of whack even for a Vs game, the main concern being X-factor.
X-Factor was mostly a game breaking element, allowing a skilled player in Marvel Three Vanilla to kill about two characters by popping the level one X-Factor early on in a match. Level three X-Factor was much, much worse. Great anchors like Sentinel and Akuma could suddenly win matches of their own accord, even if that player was worse than the player who was currently beating up on them mercilessly.
Then there's the single player, which has next to nothing at all. It has Arcade mode, Versus mode, Training mode and Mission mode. Arcade mode is basically pick three characters, beast computers, and own Galactus. This is nice for about twenty or so minutes, but it gets old quick. Unless you're out for achievements, Arcade is going to bore you to death. It exists solely for endings and quite possibly nothing else. We get no rival stories nor do we get other kind of motivation other than titles to play it again, much less give it a look. Training is...well, its Training mode. That said, its nice to see Capcom put in effort for the Training mode, as you'll need it in Marvel 3. Learning your main characters is absolutely vital, especially if you play characters who have very high execution requirements. I really don't have anything to say against the training mode. It functions fine, and it'll help you in the long run whether it be in tournament or if your messing around looking for unique combos or set ups for your team.
Lastly, the mission mode. I thought this would function mostly like how Event matches worked in Smash Bros Melee back in the day. Sadly, this wasn't even close to the case. Mission mode is a very over glorified trial mode, which only nets you artwork and titles. If your the title hunter, you'll find the majority of the character titles here. The vast majority of this mode teaches you character combos, though most are very situational to near impossible to use in a real match.
The main game play itself is what we are really here for though, and it runs at a very smooth Sixty frames a second. Translation: that is very fast in comparison to what you may watch on streams or Youtube. In addition, the thirty-eight man/woman/god/robot/dog roster is done well enough if a bit bland, because mostly fan favorites show up here like Wolverine, Wesker, Chris, Ryu, Chun-Li, Dante. Some characters are welcome additions like Phoenix, and Wesker, as they each bring something new to the table. As for how each of the said characters play? The development team has really outdone themselves, as every one, no matter how Shotokan they get, feel different from each other. Diversity is apparent and it still is in Marvel Three Vanilla.
Controlling characters is pretty awesome especially if you can pull Dante's insane combos, like the ones you see on stream. Almost all the characters control and feel differently, whether your on a pad or an arcade stick, and which controller you want to use is completely up to yourself. I've used both, and the really didn't feel all that different to me on either controller type. Just be wary that certain basic tactics with characters like Zero may need to be relearned when switching from one control type to another.
The online is easily the most disappointing thing about Marvel Three Vanilla though, as it usually ranges from awful all the way to great, and most games will be in the middle catagory, most likely worse if your using a wireless connection or a router to play the games online on. From my own personal experiences, its really been in the middle, with great connections scattered here and there, lost in the sea of good or awful ranked matches. Speaking of, this is where the online experience is at its worst. When you search for someone, you get no chance to detect someone's ping for a good or horrible connection, no way to find a different player to play against, nothing. All you get is a menu for region, rank, and language searching, like the match making system was just thrown in for kicks. Waiting for a good five to twenty minutes to play a thirty second to about a two minute match shouldn't be this arduous. This occurs even in player matches. Lobbies got it the worst because of the fact that there was no spectator mode. For most, no spectator was pretty much a huge blow, considering it was a standard feature in Super Street Fighter Four and beyond. Its even in Third Strike Online before it even got patched into Marvel Three Vanilla, which to me, is just sad, considering Capcom put a ten year old game on a higher priority list than a game that will not only influence a genre, but the future of an online community as a whole. This is unacceptable development, and I'm personally happy to see this rectified in Ultimate.
A few things other than the characters I will give Capcom props on is the visuals, music and voice acting. The vast majority of the Marvel cast almost sounds exactly like you think they would, while some of Capcom's voices are hilariously bad. The visual effects look pretty much amazing and stages look really well done too.
As a whole, Marvel Three Vanilla is pretty much a hit or miss game, which laughably misses its mark unless you have a ton of friends to play with online or offline. Unless you like waiting five to twenty minutes to find a decent match which may not even last a long time at all, I would suggest waiting for Ultimate.