Custom mat from Inked Playmats

Maybe playmats are kind of a silly affectation, but I’ve come to prefer using them most of the time. I think I like them primarily because they help define “your space.” In a crowded room with elbow-to-elbow people it feels nice to have a bit of a boundary established.

I’ve been interested in getting a custom playmat from Inked Playmats for a while, but never got around to it. I’d seen mats that other people had gotten from them, and they looked pretty legit so I was confident that their service was probably fine. They charge $24.99 for a custom mat, and shipping brings it closer to $30. However, they had a 35% off sale over Thanksgiving weekend so I was able to order a custom mat for about $20 including shipping.

I can do basic stuff in Photoshop but do not have a lot of experience with designing images intended for physical printing. The Inked Playmats website conveniently provides an appropriately-formatted Photoshop template file that you can use, and has a nice little tutorial video going over some of the important points in preparing an image for printing.

I’m a fan of being a stupid idiot, so I designed a collage of stupid cat pictures and put a kitschy phrase across it. I think it turned out pretty well. I’m pleased with the service and will use them again if I ever have an idea stupider than this one:

well, maybe you should

Draft Magic Online Salt

High Saltinels of Arashin

3-0’d a draft online with a Temur deck. Round 3 was pretty great.

Game 1, I played Icefeather Aven face up on turn two, looking at an aggressive plan with the Mystic of the Hidden Way in my hand (that same line had worked well in a previous match). However, I never drew a third land. Meanwhile, opponent made his first 4 land drops on time and dropped a few creatures, including a High Sentinels of Arashin.


Game 2, I kept another two-land hand. I missed some land drops and had to discard to hand size a couple times. I thought I was done for, but when I finally drew my third land on turn 6 I was able to claw my way back and win the game.

Game 3 I had a good opening hand and protected my Savage Knuckleblade, who took it all the way home. He’s at 5, I go in for the kill with Knucklehead and a facedown morph. The final attack looked like this:


Eliciting this response:


Mmm, delicious.


Innistrad Draft on the side at SCG States

I was not able to play in the main event at SCG Autum States 2014, but I did go down to the tournament site hoping to get in a Khans draft. When I saw they were trying to fire an Innistrad draft as well, I jumped at the chance. There’ll be plenty more time for Khans!

I first-picked a Morkrut Banshee and then a Dead Weight, but subsequent picks moved me into white and red. I ended up with a pretty okay aggro deck.

I was barely there on playables, could have used another burn spell or two. I think I could have maindecked the second Avacynian Priest instead of an Unruly Mob, otherwise I feel decent about this build.

Round 1 vs Spider Spawning: I was a little intimidated, this guy seemed very confident in the format and had drafted one of the strong graveyard synergy decks, using self-mill plus Spider Spawning and Gnaw to the Bone to great effect. Oh, and he also played Delver of Secrets on turn 1 of game 1 and flipped it on turn 2. Nonetheless, I was attacking and doing stuff, managed to kill the Delver… but ultimately the guy milled through his entire deck, gnawing and spawning me out. Game 2, I had turn 1 Stromkirk Noble, plus a couple other dorky attackers and it was a quick beat. Game 3, opponent whiffed on a couple of his set-up milling turns and I kept pressuring with a curve of attackers, taking the match.

Round 2 vs Blue-White Mill: This guy also seemed to be an Innistrad afficianado and went in on another mill deck. He was playing multiple Ghoulcaller’s Bells and at least one Curse of the Bloody Tome, and splashing black for a Nephalia Drownyard. Game 1, he milled me out. Game 2, he didn’t do much and I aggro’d him. Game 3, he got me down to 9 cards in my deck but I went wide on the board and was able to kill him. I drew my sideboarded Urgent Exorcism to destroy an early Curse of the Bloody Tome before it did any work.

Round 3 vs Green-White: This was a scary deck full of multiple Travel Preparations, Gatstaf Shepherds and a Moldgraf Monstrosity way up at the top end. Game 1, I had a good curve and got there without too much trouble. Game 2 was very grindy and I fell as low as 4 before stabilizing the board. I had sided in the second Avacynian Priest and drew both, which turned out to be crucial. I made (I believe; maybe I’m fullacrap) a disciplined play in trading my Geist-Honored Monk with one of his guys who was carrying a Butcher’s Cleaver, leaving him with 2 creatures in play that I could then keep on lock with the pair of Avacynian Priests. A late-game Stromkirk Noble actually did a lot of heavy lifting and although opponent did cast a Moldgraf Monstrosity, it was too late at that point as I had two tappers online and had gained a chunk of life back with my own Butcher’s Cleaver.

So now I have 8 packs of Innistrad that I don’t know what to do with.