Category Archives: N-Dexers

Sleeving Up U/W for Grand Prix D.C.

After my top 2 finish at the Boston 5k a few weeks ago, I was looking good going into the GP with at least one bye and if I played well in any of the PTQs on the following two weekends I could be looking at 2 byes. That didn’t happen.

The day after the 5k I was pretty beat, sleeved up mostly the same 75 from the day before and went 2-2 drop at a PTQ. The following weekend was another PTQ in connecticut and I decided to switch to mythic. Mythic was a bit more complicated than I estimated and while it was capable of those blowout, turn 3 Eldrazi Conscription wins- playing a deck that just turns sideways was not what I was used to in standard and I coughed up a couple wins by simply not attacking in with my lotus cobra, forgoing one exalted trigger and losing with my opponent at 1.

Those kind of things drive me crazy and I am in no mood to play the Conscription deck again after going 0-2 in a PTQ and 2-2 drop in a WPN qualifier (losing to grixis 3 times, which is just a brutal matchup post board when you have to face down 4 lightning bolt, 4 terminate and the rest of the b/r goods and jace, the mind sculptor).

To be quite honest I’m a little torn what to do right now. Jund is certainly back on the rise and a couple of my teammates here in Mass really like it (and I’ve always considered them blue mages). It’s certainly very good as the results don’t lie, and going into the 5k weekend earlier in the month, Jund kind of punched me in the teeth a little, as I thought it was a very favorable matchup for UW Tapout; but really, nothing is favorable enough vs. cascade.

For the first time maybe ever, we’re bringing all 7 members of our squad to the same tournament, so decks are pretty sparse. We can put together two Junds or a Jund and a Naya, but I likely won’t be sleeving up anything green. There is plenty of time to play Jund for me at the online PTQs next month.

So unless I want to sleeve up some devastating summons, and I don’t think I do without having a card to kill baneslayer; I don’t really want to rely on mark of mutiny and a swing FTW to beat any deck with baneslayer angel in it, I’m going to be playing UW TAPOUT.

I’ve made some tweaks, and made some pretty brutal decisions (and I still have a couple more to make I fear), but I’ll talk about the deck a bit and what changes I’ve made and why.

I really liked UW control the weekend that I played it. I always felt like there was something I could do, or that I could draw (plus ways to draw it) that would bail me out of whatever situation I found myself in. I don’t feel like that has really changed. I like cantripping on turn 2 as much as I can. I love oblivion ring and mind spring, and while people can tell me all day that Baneslayer Angel sucks, she doesn’t and she’s a baller, and I love her.

I think that UW is fine vs. most matchups, I don’t think Dauntless Escort is very hard to play around in mythic with the right answers. I think UW can still beat Jund just fine if you gear it to the aggro matchup (and I don’t think wrath effects are nearly as bad as many people think they are vs. the deck). Furthermore, creature decks are all the rage right now with jund, naya and conscription running rampant at regionals and on MTGO.

The biggest issue I’ve stuggled with is how to deal with the creatures. I know a lot of people say to just run Sphinx of Jwar Isle and not baneslayer b/c it just gives opponent’s dead cards, but most jund players are already cutting terminates and just running maelstrom pulse x4. I think that a deck that maindecks a bunch of terminates is rough, don’t get me wrong; but the meta seems to be going the other way. People are now expecting UW tapout to not run baneslayers and the UWR Planeswalker deck doesn’t (Even though they should run them out of the board), and this could be the weekend to re-capitalize on running a full squad of Baneslayers.

So I’ve decided to neglect Sphinx of Jwar Isle despite how “good” (read: unkillable) it is against Jund. If you don’t hit several sphinx of Jwar Isle it’s really hard to actaully beat in against Jund with your 5/5. Which is why I like Baneslayer, even if they have a couple answers to it, you can turn it sideways and not fear that you’re going to die on the swing back.

I’ve upped the Planeswalker count to be a little strong against the aggro decks and put them on difficult decisions. Gideon works best with baneslayer on the table to kill one of their attackers. Elspeth is just a difficult planeswalker to kill. This also presents far more Pulse targets, making my baneslayers a bit better.

I cut an oblivion ring, conceding that creature decks are far more popular than the control decks right now, and a lot better. Instead of just upping a Path to exile however, I decided to toss in an Into the Roil. I like into the roil for a number of reasons. It’s as good as removal vs. Mythic and it’s just a lot better than path against the control matchups. Being able to bounce my own obring to legend rule a planeswalker and reload my removal seems really strong. It’s one more maindecked blue answer to a polymorphed Iona naming white and in plenty of situations itll draw me a card.

I’ve cut a mind spring, because games where I draw 2 in my opening hand were driving me a little nuts and while I know it’s practically a win condition, the cantripping in the rest of the deck will hopefully get me there.

I really loved the 2 negates maindeck when I played it and I don’t want to cut them, they’re only really bad against Conscription and Naya, but they’re great in the mirror and against jund, so I like them in the front 60.

I’ve decided to cut a Day of judgment to add in a martial coup which is a little worse against jund and mythic and to be honest, the one maindeck change I’m likely to make is to go back to three DOJ, one martial coup, I just don’t like making myself worse in the control mirrors, especially since right now I haven’t been able to fit one of the Eldrazi gods into my sideboard.

Speaking of Sideboard:

The only matchup I really don’t like is the Vengevine Naya matchup. I’m not really sure what I want to be doing vs. that post board but I’m going to get some testing in tonight and friday before the GP.

This is geared pretty heavily towards the control matchups, in which I like more negates, another into the roil, the sanctifiers and the Luminarchs. A few weeks ago I thought luminarchs were trash but looking at lists, people are cutting an oblivion ring or two from their 75 and enchantment destruction is almost non-existant. Some people are adopting into the roil, which could be an issue, but with 4 negates I should be able to back it up. I like keeping the sanctifiers for the mirror to deal with luminarchs and obrings still. I think that the firewalkers and the purges will be enough for the jund matchup, combined with leaving DOJ in and bringing in the Mind Control.

Maybe some more testing this weekend will tell me I’m wrong, but I’m hoping the white planeswalkers and arsenal of celestial purge in the board will help swing the Jund matchup a little bit, it’s possible that it’s not enough.

I’m pretty excited about the GP, GP Trials and even a fallback ptq on sunday, and I’m happy to be sleeving up this deck on the real battlefield. I’ll likely switch to Jund talk next week as ONline PTQs start back up and I’ve already traded for my Sarkhan the Mads and Consuming Vapors.

Til next time,

Mike Gemme
Mike@Power9Pro.com
Bobbysapphire on MTGO

Taking 2nd Place at the Boston $5K

Last week I discussed my preparation for the big TCGPlayer.com 5k / PTQ weekend in Boston, MA. All week I was pretty certain that I would be sleeving up UW tapout for Saturday but was contemplating some Mythic for Sunday. I also talked about my helping friend and former pro tour-er Blaine Hatab get Kiln Fiend into a winning deck. Well, Blaine and my testing (or lack thereof) worked out as he finished 9th and I came in second losing in the finals to JUND when I couldn’t rip one of 14 outs to take home my first Magic Trophy.

First I’ll start with the list I brought to the tournament Saturday and some discussion of it.

you can see me discuss the list here.

My big insistance in the deck was to run 4 Oblivion rings. I really like the Obring vs. just about every deck out there right now. Even against mono red or R/x, being able to oblivion ring a Kiln fiend is invaluable. I wouldn’t leave all four in postboard vs. red decks, and I’d only cut them all if I didn’t see kiln fiend in games 1 and 2. But Planeswalkers are everywhere right now, and so aren’t baneslayers; Obring is just a good catch all, I even Obring’d a 1/1 Goblin Token vs. polymorph once last weekend.

I also liked 2 path and considered 3 just because of how good mythic is, and how an unchecked baneslayer angel can simply rule the mirror.

Probably the strangest thing about my list is the inclusion of 4 total fetchlands, 2 white and 2 blue. This is for a number of reasons. 1 they make both Jace and Sphinx of Jwar Isle better. Sometimes the sphinx just isnt enough late game and that’s when you have most of your card advantage. Numerous times on the weekend I would end up with a sphinx and some fetches and they would give me the chance to see more cards. Same goes with Jace, I once Jace: brainstormed 3 times in a row and got all lands each time, luckily the third time yielded a fetch so I could mix things up and ended up taking the game down despite not havnig a single threat for a few turns.

My Board was as follows:

Nothing really crazy in here except the 2 Jace Beleren. Those are in there for the control match to vindicate their jace and net me some cards when I can slap em down and get it done. I also ended up bringing them in vs. UR polymorph b/c in game 1 my opponent seemed really reliant on Jace to find his stuff.

This tournament really started off on the wrong foot for me. Out of 228 players I got paired up aganist my best friend Steve Baroni in round 1 and he was playing Open the Vaults / Time Sieve, the one deck that UW has almost no chance of beating.

Steve started with a mull to 4 or 5 and dropped game 1, then proceeded to take game 2 easily. As we began to shuffle up for game 3 Steve wanted to reboard some cards and when he reached for his deckbox it was gone. Someone had taken his box with his postboarded deck and he was missing some important hard to find commons and unless he replaced them would’ve had to scoop from the tournament. As we played game 3 Blaine tried to track some cards down, after coming up with nothing Steve decided to scoop to me and drop from the tournament to do some free drafting.

Then I proceded to drop my second game to the UW mirror after I couldn’t handle my opponent’s baneslayer angels in either of the second or third game.

I was not feeling great at this point, clearly I should’ve been 0-2 drop but with one win I *simply* had to win out…

I ended up beating, in no particular order, UW Tapout x2, Mythic, Jund, Naya SHallies, and White weenie to finish up 7-1 and able to draw with eventual champ Josh Herr into the top 8.

I was pretty nervous for the top 8 simply because I had played so horribly in the 8th round. I faced a good local player I knew and had beaten the last two times we faced (Dustin Taylor – 1859). I played really poorly against Dustin who was in it to win it. He gave me a real run for my money in game 1 after he mulled to 3 and I had a fairly slow start. In game 2 he rolled me on the play and in game 3 I ripped running baneslayer angels to give him no hope of top eighting. Most of my good fortune on Satudray was due to my supreme rips and not having to mull once.

In the top 8 meeting we were discussing splits and Gerard Fabiano was undecided on a split himself. I proposed we each take 500 and put the final 200 in the pot and play a winner-take-all top 8 event. Everyone eventually agreed to this and we were off.

Quarter Finals vs. Jund

I was pretty confident about Jund going into this event and was glad to see it in the first round of the top 8. Now that I had $500 in my pocket the pressure was off and I was able to just do work. If you watch my opponent’s interview he said he felt like he got outjunded this match and mabye that’s true because there weren’t any difficult decisions to be made during these games. It was all about surviving blightnings and casting as many spreading seas as I could to get to my Baneslayer Angels and Sphinx of Jwar Isle.

Semifinals vs. UW Tapout.

This is the only match other than mythic that I 2-0′d all day. In game 1 I stuck a Baneslayer Angel on 5 and then he played one on his turn 5. I laid down a jace the mind sculptor and bounced his angel then swang. At this point the lock was on as he could either try and take out my jace or keep dropping his Baneslayer. He dropped the baneslayer again and I didn’t have to play another card the rest of the match because of Negate in my hand and no reason to tap.

In game 2 it was more of the same, I answered his baneslayers but he couldn’t answer my 5/5 fliers. On the game winning turn I had a Sphinx and a Slayer vs. his Slayer. With plenty of Mana I cast mind spring for 4 leaving 3 mana open in hopes of ripping a path or an oblivion ring, the fourth card I drew was an Obring and that was that.

Finals vs. Jund

He takes down game 1 after casting Blightning once from his hand and another off of a cascade. In game 2 I have 7 mana on the turn after he drops Malakir Bloodwitch to a pretty full board facing down my baneslayer angel. I drop a Wall of Omens drawing Mind Control taking his bloodwitch and he scoops us into game 3.

Game 3 was a little nuts as he has the triple Putrid Leech Start after my Spreading Seas suck on the draw. Between all his Putride Leech activations and a swing from my Baneslayer Angel we’re both sitting under 10 life. I have a Colonnade on the board but my only other lands are plains and tectonic edges. I can draw any one of 3 islands, 2 blue fetches, 4 Glacial Fortresses or 3 Wrath of Gods to even this game up. I draw a blank and he’s able to burn me with Siege Gang Comander and have more than enough to swing in for the win and the trophy (though he and I split the final $200).

All in all I was pretty happy with UW tapout. I sleeved it up again on Sunday but it did not perform as well, I had to mulligan a lot and my draws weren’t very optimal and I was out by the sixth round. If I had to sleeve it up again I would definitely include a Gideon Jura in my Maindeck and likely a second martial coup. Martial Coup is really important in the mirror and my opponents having multiples took me down plenty of times over the two day weekend. I think I would cut down to 2 mind spring and try to throw in a Divination. Some potential cuts are 1x Baneslayer Angel, 1x Day of Judgment or an Oblivion Ring. I really like the maindeck negates so I wouldn’t personally cut those but I can see why people would not want them in the big 60.

This weekend I’ve got another PTQ in Hartford Connectictu, I’ll be wearing my bright orange Power9pro tshirt but I’ll likely be sleeving up Mythic Bant. I haven’t decided about which version I’m going to run, I’m leaning towards the Eldrazi Conscription version but with at least 1 Rafiq of the Many to give it more of a threat level if I can’t find my Sovereigns of Lost ALara during a game.

Thanks for reading

Mike Gemme
mike@power9pro.com
bobbysapphire on MTGO.

Power 9 Pro New Product Spoiler Contest Winners

Power 9 Pro’s second product the N-Dexers has been announced! We held a spoiler contest to see if any Magic players could guess what the product would be based off the accompanying sticker-art.

n-dexers sticker art
n-dexers sticker art

Winners were selected based on how close they were able to guess what the product was for or how it related to Magic: the Gathering.

Though we had no “perfect guesses,” there were a number that were so close we couldn’t say they were wrong.
You’ll see from the locations of the winners below, that Magic players from around the world participated in our contest. We’re elated to interact with the Magic community on such a personal level and look forward to hosting more contests.

In fact we had so much fun with the N-Dexers spoiler contest that we decided to hold another contest for the N-Dexers, this time tying in the Dragon’s Egg Power 9 Pro’s first solution designed with Magic players in mind. You can see all the details for that contest here. Our teammate Zak started us off with pics of his trip to Machu Picchu. (Don’t worry, he’s not really competition for the contest).

Without further ado, the contest winners are:

  • Marco Ruiz from near-by Santa Rosa, CA USA
  • Daniel Santorso from Terryville, CT USA
  • Andrew D’Agostino from Yardley PA, USA
  • Nathan Merilees from Sechelt, British Columbia Canada
  • Nicholas Chmielewski from Annerley, Queensland Australia

Thanks again to everyone who participated. It was really exciting seeing your guesses. :)

Firestarter: Where’s You Dragon’s Egg Been?

Power 9 Pro Just announced a contest where you show off where your Dragon’s Egg has been, with the winner getting some free N-Dexers.. I went to South America over spring break, and here are some photos that I took to help get you guys into the picture-snapping mood.

I’m sorry that they spill over into the margins, but I really love the quality that the bigger size affords you.  And no, I really didn’t want to crop these pictures.

Enjoy!

Me, A Galapagos Tortoise, and the Dragon's Egg.  Santa Crux Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.
Me, A Galapagos Tortoise, and the Dragon's Egg. Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.
Me, The Dragon's Egg, and a Pre-Incan Temple in the middle of Lima, Peru.
Me, The Dragon's Egg, and a Pre-Incan Temple in the middle of Lima, Peru.
With the stunning view of Machu Picchu in the background, I got one last shot of me and the Egg.
With the stunning view of Machu Picchu in the background, I got one last shot of me and the Egg.

For those of you that needer more convincing, I used the Dragon’s Egg to carry sunscreen, insect repellant, my wallet, and a plethora of utility items during my trip.  Hooray for not having to bring a giant backpack with me all the time!

I’m looking forward to see the submissions for the contest, so do your best to impress us.

Cheers,

Zak

Dragon's Egg Photo Contest

Power 9 Pro wants to see where you’ve played Magic: the Gathering, and we want to see who’s taken their Dragon’s Egg to the coolest of locations.

In fact, we’re so curious that we’re going to hold a contest and reward the winner and two runners-up with free N-Dexers!

Here’s how it works:
Take a picture of yourself with your Dragon’s Egg. The picture can be taken at a tournament, it can be of you and your friends being goofy, or maybe even at an exotic location like the top of the Empire State Building! Bonus points for playing Magic in the picture.

Email the picture to us at contact@power9pro.com. On September 20th, Power 9 Pro will select the best picture and two runners-up. The winner will receive a 60x pack of the N-Dexers and the two runners-up will each receive a 12x pack!

What you need to qualify:
A Dragon’s Egg, a digital camera, email.

That’s it. Pretty simple. :)

N-Dexer Product Announcement

At the tail-end of April, Power 9 Pro announced that we would soon be releasing a new product.  In that announcement, we held a contest where we invited mtg players to guess what our next product would be based on art we created for its release.

After a few delays along the road, Power 9 Pro is ready to introduce the next product we’ve designed specifically to make life easier for Magic: the Gathering players.

The next solution is called “N-Dexers.” Based on the name and the accompanying art, the solution should be fairly clear.

N-Dexers CCG Tabbed Dividers

We’re looking to make the organization of our massive card collections easier and more clear. Along those lines, the N-Dexers will also help immensely when it comes to deck construction since you won’t have to rifle through cards looking for a specific card. I find this to be the problem even when my cards are organized alphabetically!

Here’s a breakdown of what see as the benefits of the N-Dexers over existing solutions:

  • Works for either of the industry standard boxes–whether you have the vertical boxes (as frequently used by WotC in Fat Packs) or the horizontal standard (as commonly released in 800 count++ corrugated storage boxes).
  • Flexibility in Organization Choices:Rather than tell YOU how to organize your cards, we wanted the solution we provided our fellow Magic players to be flexible. If you currently prefer to organize your cards by creature type or converted mana cost, then we wanted you to be able to do that! Though in all honestly, we see users most likely organizing their collections by card name, set name & color, set name & rarity, or something similar.In order to label the cards, we provide a set of label-stickers for the N-Dexers with each purchase. We’ll also make a printer-ready template available for download so you won’t have to write really small and then not be able to read the cards. We’re big on a comprehensive solutions over here. The printer template will allow each user to fill out the labels how they see best, just print the labels out and stick ‘em to the N-Dexers.
  • Accessibility
    As I alluded to, when we’re constructing decks over here at Power 9 Pro, we frequently find ourselves rifling through cards looking for that single elusive card that we just know we have. It’s frustrating and extremely time consuming. This is the case even when our cards are organized. Rather than perpetuate a bad habit that includes handling our valuable collection pieces over and over again, furthering the chances of a scuff or nicked edge we decided that the N-Dexers had to increase the accessibility of our cards when placed in storage.

    The main design solution to this problem was the creation of a ‘tab pattern’ that resembles a filing cabinet. Because we anticipate some players having hundreds of tabs in their boxes, we wanted to make sure that we could quickly scan through a box without having to thumb through each of the tabs. That would defeat the purpose of the N-Dexers in the first place! Our solutions is that each tab is offset from the previous tab.

    Moreover, we English-speakers read from right to left and so the offset is from left to right, impacting readability in a truly meaningful way. Check it out!

    N-Dexers Example

  • As you know, Power 9 Pro’s first product is the Dragon’s Egg, the only truly durable CCG-specific bag on the market. What good would a second product be if it didn’t play well with the first product? Not very good in our opinion! One thing we found ourselves doing over and over again is carrying different partial decks with us to tournaments and play sessions so we could lend the cards to our friends. By designing the N-Dexers to fit in the Dragon’s Egg, we can now have a mobile collection with cards and partial decks clearly demarcated from each other.
  • Longevity of solution:One of Power 9 Pro’s main focuses is providing innovation and value to players. Who has time for poor quality? We sure don’t and we assume each of you doesn’t either!As I mentioned, the N-Dexers come with labels for you to put on the N-Dexer tabs. These labels can be easily removed so you can keep your set updated as collections grow and change over time.The N-Dexers come with a 5 year warranty for any manufacturing defects. However, after a series of complex computations on the half-life of plastics, multiple consultations with chemists and our insurance actuaries, we can safely say the N-Dexers, treated properly, will last close to 1000 years without compromise to functionality. ;-)

Distribution:

We are currently offering the N-Dexers in two different quantities: 12-packs and 60-packs. The 12-packs will carry a MSRP of $4.50 and the 60-packs will carry a MSRP of $17.95. If you do the math on the pricing, you’ll notice that the 60-packs are essentially a “buy 4, get a 5th free.”

The N-Dexers are currently being prep’d for distribution. Our release date for the N-Dexers to the public is August 15th. During the next couple of weeks we’re going to be getting our local retailers setup with supplies.

Saving the best for last, we recommend you sign up for our newsletter, as we’ll be notifying all subscribers of a variety of introductory discounts and packages–some of which will include discounts on the Dragon’s Egg. What are you waiting for!? Sign up!

**to all our contest participants: we’ll be contacting those who were accurate enough over the next day to send out your prize. :)