I’ve been trying to get back into Magic the Gathering Online but the server has been crashing with remarkable frequency over this holiday weekend. The crashes are likely at due at least in part to the popularity of the “nix tix” drafts (no tickets required, just packs) and all the special Premier Events they’ve been holding, but really that’s no excuse. If they can’t anticipate and handle an increase in traffic over a holiday weekend then they really need to take a hard look at the management in charge of this product.
If a large enough percentage of customers stopped buying MTGO product then I would think that would get their attention. $3.99 per pack is already pretty ridiculous especially compared with the street price of real (paper) packs.
I encourage everyone to, at the very least, email Wizards their dissatisfaction at:
You have to create an account to leave an email but it doesn’t take long.
If you can’t think of what to say, you can use this message, edited to your taste:
I am dismayed and disappointed that the Magic the Gathering Online server is down again, for at least the third time over the extended holiday weekend. These frequent crashes, especially during a time when we are supposed to be able to draft for free, does nothing but breed customer dissatisfaction and drives people away from the game.
There are plenty of other online gaming options and you are doing everything in your power to make people give up on MTGO and look elsewhere for entertainment.
It is unconscionable for you to continue to charge money for such a buggy product. You need to do whatever it takes to make this game more stable or you will lose customers in droves.
I made it out to Friday Night Magic last night for the first time in weeks. I decided to play my tweaked version of Firemane Control:
4 Lightning Helix
2 Rise // Fall
4 Wrath of God
2 Adarkar Valkyrie
1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
1 Angel of Despair
4 Firemane Angel
2 Orzhov Signet
2 Rakdos Signet
1 Debtors’ Knell
1 Faith’s Fetters
4 Phyrexian Arena
1 Blood Crypt
1 Caves of Koilos
3 Flagstones of Trokair
2 Gemstone Mine
4 Godless Shrine
1 Orzhov Basilica
1 Rakdos Carnarium
1 Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace
2 Sacred Foundry
1 Sulfurous Springs
1 Urza’s Factory
4 Circle of Protection: Red
3 Sacred Ground
2 Shadow of Doubt
The two Shadow of Doubt in the board are for Dragonstorm but they need to come out for something else. This build does pretty well against Dragonstorm anyway with the main deck Castigate, Rise // Fall and Persecute and the COP: Red out of the board really help as well, especially if they’re not running Gigadrowse.
Round 1 - Russell Persons - UR Stuffy Doll combo
Russell had a horrible draw in game one. We both mulliganed once and then he literally drew nothing but land and Signets. All I knew at the end of game one is that he was playing red and blue. I played an Angel and he scooped.
Game two was much faster. I started playing Angels and he had a Stuffy Doll in play. I knew he had one Skred from an earlier Castigate but I hadn’t taken it out of his hand. Big mistake. He cast two Skreds and another burn spell on his Stuffy Doll and killed me in one turn.
Game three was closer to game one. He played some creatures but I got Debtors’ Knell in play and stole the Fortune Thief out of his graveyard. I know he had at least one Skred in hand but I attacked with Angels to win.
Round 2 - Stephen - Solar Pox w/Hakkon recursion
Stephen and I had a great time, cracking jokes and making obscure references throughout our match. He even knew who originally sang “Detachable Penis.” Don’t ask how that came up.
Game one I was stuck on three land and he eventually killed me with Court Hussars and a Hakkon. Game two—well, game two was an epic. It went back and forth for a long, long time. Every time one of us did something the other counteracted it. I got an Angel of Despair into play but I couldn’t get the Condemn out of his hand so I couldn’t attack with it. He found his own Angel of Despair and blew up my Debtors’ Knell, then I Wrathed both Angels away. He had three Court Hussars and a Hakkon to keep bringing them back but I Condemned Hakkon. I had two Phyrexian Arena’s in play and three Firemane Angels in the graveyard and was ripping through my graveyard. I eventually got enough mana out that I was bringing Firemane Angels back out of the graveyard but he found ways to kill them.
Eventually they called time in the round just as I was untapping. I drew my card. Akroma! He was at 8 life. I hard cast Akroma and attacked, then used the Helix I’d been saving forever to finish him off. I think the entire store was watching by then and there was much rejoicing when that crazy game finally ended.
Round 3 - Vikram - UR Suspend
Vikram admitted as we shuffled up that he was playing a preconstructed deck and said “You should have a good chance against me.” I told him not to be too sure.
By turn two of the first game he had suspended a Riftwing Cloudskate and a Keldon Halberdier. They both game into play on the same turn and he cast Clawss of Gix, then Empty the Warrens which created eight 1/1 tokens. I couldn’t find a Wrath of God in time and he crushed me without taking any damage.
I was a bit nervous after that showing but I figured with all the removal and hand disruption I could handle Empty the Warrens. I didn’t board anything although COP: Red was tempting. Fortunately I got off to a fast start and played a Phyrexian Arena. He looked at it and said, “Hmm, one life for one card. Seems like an OK trade but not great.” He was feeling his oats after that first game. I didn’t respond, I just let the card advantage power out some Angels and they killed him. Game three was much of the same, an early Arena followed by Rise // Fall and Castigate followed by Angels.
Round 4 - Jesus Molina - Magnivore
Every other time I’ve played against Jesus he’s been playing Boros so as we shuffled I was already thinking about how I was going to board for game two. I figured game one was a loss. When he played a turn one Island after we both mulliganed once I was quite surprised. He started blowing up my land on turn three and I never had much of a chance.
Game two, out went the discard and a couple of the more expensive Angels for COP: Red and Sacred Ground. I got Sacred Ground into play on turn two and COP: Red soon after and that shut off most of his deck. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any win conditions so we played a lot of “draw, go.” I eventually found a Firemane Angel and he Remanded it at least three times if not four. Eventually it stuck and then he started Wildfire’ing it away. Finally it stayed on the table and I beat him with a 13 point Demonfire while I was at 30 life.
Game three I kept a hand with five lands and two Mortify’s. I’m not sure keeping was the best decision but I figured some of the land would get blown up anyway and that would give me time to draw into something better. I was right. He destroyed three of my lands before I found Sacred Ground and a source of white to cast it with. I eventually found the COP: Red to top it off and started building to six mana. It took awhile but I got the mana and the Firemane Angel and started hitting for four a turn (with a Helix thrown in toward the end).
I wound up finishing second (there was one 4-0) out of 18 or so players. The deck did well but I think it would have more trouble in a faster environment. There were at least two other Solar Flare/Solar Pox type decks and at least three total Magnivore decks. Most of the decks were slow, controllish builds. One guy who went 3-1 had main deck Blood Moon and he laid waste to much of his opposition just by playing Blood Moon on turn three. Seeing that in action I decided to take out the Shadow of Doubt’s and put the fourth Sacred Ground and third Disenchant in the board for the next version of this deck.
Whew! I just made one of the biggest comebacks in my life, and in the fifth match of a Time Spiral release league that put me at a perfect 5-0! That was fun.
I was at 1 life (yes, count ‘em, one) and my opponent was at 15 and came back to win. Here’s what lead up to that situation.
He had two Amrou Seekers (which had been pounding me all game) an Essense Sliver and a Quilled Sliver in play. I had a Two-Headed Sliver, a Deathspore Thallid, and a Saproling in play and a Greater Gargadon with three Suspend counters on it.
I had a Bonesplitter Sliver in hand and a face down Thelonite Hermit in play. I passed the turn with six mana available. He smelled a rat because he only attacked with the Amrou Seekers, leaving the Slivers back.
I flipped the Hermit, creating four 2/2 Saprolings and making my existing Saproling a 2/2. I sacrificed four of the Saprolings to kill his Amrou Seekers, all the while waiting for the Momentary Blink which would ruin my whole plan. Fortunately it didn’t come and he was left with just the two slivers.
He played Candles of Leng and passed the turn.
On my turn I flashed back Strangling Soot to kill his Essence Sliver but was wary of surprises so I passed the turn without attacking. I knew he was playing red but he had several cards in his hand and no Mountains in play. I figured if he found a Mountain I was dead either way and I didn’t have enough to kill him this turn so I didn’t want to leave myself open to any flash creatures or other end of turn tricks like Tendrils of Corruption to kill the one blocker I would have left back. Besides, all I had were 1/1’s and I didn’t want to trade for his Quilled Sliver when I had plans for it at the end of his turn.
He activated the Candles and revealed a Plains. He played the Plains and passed.
At the end of his turn I sacrificed my remaining Saproling to kill off his Quilled Sliver and sacrificed a land to remove one of the two counters from the Gargadon. At the beginning of my turn the Gargadon came into play. Then I ripped Might Sliver and my Two-Headed Sliver was suddenly a 3/3. I swung for 14 leaving him at one.
On his turn he activated the Candles and revealed a Mountain, which he’d probably been waiting for for some time. He played the Mountain and conceded (thank goodness, no Grapeshot).
It required some luck but it was still the most exciting come from behind victory I’ve had in awhile. I should have killed his Sliver on my turn and swung with two of the three 1/1’s, which would have left him dead at the end of my next turn. I gave him an extra turn. But at least I didn’t panic or concede when down 15 to 1.