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League Season 4
Status: ended
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Review of League Season 4
It's the end of another eventful year in Common Sense clan league. If you've spent the last 12 months under a rock then now is your chance to catch up on all the action ...

Introduction
Merry Christmas everybody! This year in the Common Sense league has, as always, been a hotly contended event, enjoying the support of both core faithful and rookies alike, with some fantastic prize support along the way. I'll mention just once that the attendance this year was down; by a scary 50% from 2010; so this will be the last year of the league in its current form, next year will be a lot different, more on that later.
Our sponsors this year have been especially generous; I have been able to award participation prizes of foil grim lavamancer, foil berserk, snuff out and reflecting pool. Join me in thanking joekewwl, wildman4420, chrismh77, x_force_of_will_x and victorbike who have made all this possible.
Round 4.1, Peasant
This is the first time a non-pauper format has been run in the league. Opinion was divided on the wisdom of running Peasant, some expecting a low turnout, but in the end a respectable number registered, and a decent amount of matches got played, no doubt driven by the participation prize on offer; the foil Berserk was awarded to the first to complete 20 matches, InsanePete. On hindsight, in later rounds the award was changed to be a draw from all the players getting to 20 matches. I don't think I personally learned to like Peasant. Fast reanimator and Æther Vial seemed popular choices.

Number entered:
10
Participation:
57%
Matches played:
57
Winner:
VictorBike
Season Leader:
victorbike
This was our first taste of 6 week rounds, progress was slow, and the third match rule was needed. The eventual winner was one of our rookies, victorbike, a recent recruit to the clan from sunny Spain. Unlike many of our rookies, victor decided to stick around, read on ...
Round 4.2, Standard Singleton
A very popular format among those who participated. Unexpectedly many competitive decks were possible and the scores were closer than usual. To my mind this is a perfect format for league because it emphasises deck building and is less susceptible to dominant builds. It did lose out by one small set to the standard round which is scheduled later, and would have been richer for it. The round again went to a rookie, this time our Russian comrade rotdog. There was a lively discussion during the round on the subject of non-participating members, and why they don't get more involved in league and play testing. I do encourage you all to join in and to chat more with the clan.
Number entered:
7
Participation:
69%
Matches played:
48
Winner:
rotdog
Season Leader:
victorbike
Round 4.3, Cube Sealed
This was to be our annual foray into limited formats. The intent was to achieve balanced sealed pools by using a well designed pauper cube, courtesy of pauper stalwart spikeboym. In that aim it was less than successful since yet again power was concentrated in some pools, although not as badly as before. Not highly supported, nonetheless hotly contested by those who joined, and only 2 points separated winner insanepete from victorbike, who by this stage has established himself securely at the top of the season league table. Rookies are dominant this year. The participation prizes for playing 20 matches are proving to be popular and effective at encouraging match play.
Number entered:
8
Participation:
74%
Matches played:
59
Winner:
insanepete
Season Leader:
victorbike
The league has a love-hate relationship with limited formats. There are a number of hurdles to overcome to achieve fun. Having no fixed meeting times rules out some formats such as draft. Simulating sealed pools is labour intensive and the inherent randomness is prone to favour some and penalise others. I think if we ran cube sealed again we would have to remove some of the bombier cards from the cube, getting killed by Rolling Thunder is never going to be popular.
Round 4.4, Classic
Classic. Aptly named, it yet again is the most popular format of the year. This round was plagued by the recurrent problem of recording match results. The current system is susceptible to mistakes, and can take a lot of moderating when someone doesn't know what's expected. I'd love to have a proper score system integrated into this forum. Victorbike did win, but his rivals could have overtaken given enough opponents. Even with this relatively high participation the low numbers are hurting our players. If only just a few more clan members enrolled ...
Number entered:
13
Participation:
55%
Matches played:
71
Winner:
victorbike
Season Leader:
victorbike
Round 4.5, Standard
I don't know whether it's the time of year or if everyone is sick of Squadron Hawks by now, but this really is a low point. About this time I opened discussions with our Captain and some other senior members about what we should do with the league in 2012. Out of that discussion came the proposal of regular mini-tournaments you will see below. For some reason a rookie didn't win the round. At this time victorbike has already secured league champion, the only award still in question is the participation prize.
Number entered:
5
Participation:
28%
Matches played:
14
Winner:
jmason
Season Leader:
victorbike
Round 4.6, Clan Choice: Modern
Ah the clan choice. You can always trust the clan to choose the right thing... er not ;-) I don't know much about modern, or the precursor extended, and my initial tactic of net decking drew some negative comments. Sadly my second tactic of using (control) decks that I have liked from previous standard years also earned a rage quit :/ So eventually I settled on a variant of the old sporecry deck which lost lots but provided me with some fun swingy games, notably counter attacking for exactly 17 points of lethal damage, much to my opponents surprise, he thought he was going to win that one :) This round brings a return to form for our galliant captain chrismh77, the outgoing league champion from 2010. We salute you. This round came with a bonus prize of a promotional land card for every entrant.
Number entered:
7
Participation:
51%
Matches played:
36
Winner:
chrismh77
Season Leader:
victorbike
Modern seems to be divided equally between lightning fast burn decks and white weenie. The rest of the field can be described as 'the usual suspects', a mish-mash of popular archetypes from previous standard years, esper blink, mono blue control, infect etc. Fun if you are nostalgic for those decks.
Final Season Positions 2011
Place
Championship Race
Points
Participation Race
Played
1
victorbike (rookie)
42
jmason
93
2
chrismh77 (rookie)
33
victorbike (rookie)
89
3
jmason
31
chrismh77 (rookie)
82
4
insanepete (rookie)
27
insanepete (rookie)
79
5
rotdog (rookie)
24
rotdog (rookie)
55
6
larryj (rookie)
18
larryj (rookie)
38
7
x_force_of_will_x
8
x_force_of_will_x
24
8
mr slippery 39 (rookie)
7
mr slippery 39 (rookie)
22
9
amar (rookie)
4
jam33 (rookie)
13
10
mrbennettplaysmagic (rookie)
4
wallofpwn (rookie)
12
11
necrosavant543
3
cabel (rookie)
12
12
wallofpwn (rookie)
2
mooncalf
11
13
cabel (rookie)
2
wildman4420
9
14
jam33 (rookie)
2
mrbennettplaysmagic (rookie)
9
15
wildman4420
1
necrosavant543
8
16
jimmus (rookie)
1
amar (rookie)
8
17
mooncalf
1
treylanki (rookie)
8
18
treylanki (rookie)
0
duxducis (rookie)
5
19
duxducis (rookie)
0
jimmus (rookie)
3
20
creeperbear (rookie)
0
creeperbear (rookie)
2
Awards
The fourth season of common sense league has ended with just one name at the top all the way. As always some records were made...
582 matches played this year, up by 115 from last year! I'd like to attribute this to participation prizes throughout the year. All done in 2 fewer rounds than last year too.
For the second year running a rookie wins player of the year! Come on you veterans, step up your game.
It only remains to award the prizes for this, season 4 of the Common Sense Clan league.
Participation prize: jmason
The prize is a play set of Geothermal Crevice (worth roughly $2) and 4 tix.
It's a great honour receiving this prize for the second year running, I do enjoy playing a lot of games.
Rookie of the Year 2011: victorbike
The prize is 4 tix and 2x Snap (worth approximately $3)
League Champion 2011: victorbike
The prize is 2x Champions of Kamigawa booster (worth around $4) and 4 tix.
You've heard a lot from me, so I thought it would be nice for victorbike to tell you about himself in his own words, here goes ...

Q.
Please tell us what is your name, and something about yourself.
A.
My name is Victor, and I'm from Spain. I'm playing magic since I was 13-14 years old, when 4th edition was launched (too late for duals :S). I finished my first stage as magic player, when Stronghold was launched. Many years later, I met some people on my last job that played Magic, and I returned to the game. When I moved to other town, I registered in MOL to continue playing. I always have been a very casual player.
Q.
You have kept playing Pauper for more than 1 year, why?
A.
I love Magic, and I love play for something (with options to win in a game with equitative forces)... and I don't like to spend a good amount of money in cards or on bytes (like in MOL). So pauper fits really well with my idea of the game. You could play every deck in the format with a relative low cost. I love WW and if you don't count its sideboard, this deck cost about 2-3 tix? and this deck is really competitive.
It would be great that more people played pauper in real life.
Q.
What are your views on net decking?
A.
I'm a really bad deck builder. No much time to think about an idea and mature it. I tried some creations few times in standard but without good results. Although I normally take a deck and change some cards with my feels. In conclusion I could say that I prefer playing than building, so net deck fits good with me.
Q.
If you could ban any one card in pauper, what would it be, and why?
A.
At this moment, Invigorate. I don't think that it could be correct that you can be defeated in turn 2 in pauper. It is not the philosophy of the format, and the card not was thinked in the mode that today is played.
Q.
Pauper Classic or Pauper Standard, which is better?
A.
Both are really fun formats. Atm they are even. If you ask me the same question 2-3 months ago, Standard was really bored with everybody playing Hawks. The problem is that Pauper Standard doesn't have any official support and it hurts.
Q.
What do you think about the Common Sense league? Would you like to see any changes?
A.
I like the league and his concept. Players are really kind and friendly. The variety of rounds is good for me. The problem is the lack in number of players, I wish there was more players on next season.

I'd like to thank Victor for that little insight into our latest champion. I'm not sure his victims from the last year would agree that his play style is casual ;-)

What will happen in 2012?
The plan that has been tentatively agreed between myself, chrismh77 and insanepete is for regular mini-tournaments run by a team of hosts at scheduled times, which will count toward the league table.
Judging by PDC turnouts this could be the answer to our low participation. Prize funding is less obvious. I cannot imagine many wanting to put 1 ticket to weekly tournaments for example, so I envisage some kind of independent sponsorship. I personally would be happy to sponsor several events, and I would like to hear from anyone else who wants to be a sponsor. It was also suggested that members could raise bot credit by writing paid articles for sites such as Puremtgo. Any budding authors out there in common sense land? I hope by January 2012 that we will have a more concrete plan for you. In the meantime I'd like to hear from any clan members who want to act as hosts for our league tournaments.
Signing Off
Keep an eye on the 2012 Info Center for new developments.
JM
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