Common Sense

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League Season 4
Status: ended
Play Testing
Find play testers and see the play test guantlet here

Interview With an Izzet Guildmage
I don't need to tell you that the eagerly awaited second league round of 2010 has just started, the Creature Feature round. I want to say a few words about that today, but first I have something else for you.

We hear that Magic Online is an unfriendly place, where complete strangers offer you only rudeness and immature behaviour and are itching to rip you off in trades. If you are looking for a more social experience of magic you need help, and clans are one place you will find it. In Common Sense we have many regulars who have been part of our clan for years, and who all give something back to the community they share, whether that be participation in the league, coaching, sponsorship, or simply enjoying the craic.

Even in the clan where you run into people again and again you might not get to know them well, so I have set out to put our people into the spotlight. As the first of what I hope will be a popular feature, one of our most prominent players has kindly agreed to be interviewed on this forum. You know him as Izzet Guildmage, and you may also know he is a formidable league player having won many rounds, and been in contention for 2009 champ right up to the end. Izzet has entered into the spirit and provided us with a photo, He was clearly worried his English would not be understood, but I think you'll agree his message comes across well. Please welcome Izzet Guildmage.

Izzet Guildmage
JM."Who are you when you're not playing Pauper and where are you from?"
IG."My name is Jochen and I am living in Mannheim, Germany with my girlfriend and my two cats. In real live I work in the hospital as a theatre nurse (hope it's the right word)"
JM."What are your reasons for joining Common Sense clan?"
IG."To be honest, I can't remember how I discovered the clan or if someone invited me. I like to have some nice people around when I'm online, and I enjoy the clan league and the commonsense forum"
JM."What made you choose to play pauper?"
IG."I began to play pauper after I got sick about playing against those high nosed 200$ - Decks - Idiots. Pauper is cheap, better balanced and creatures are more important than in other formats. At the beginning I thought it won't be that interesting, but now I really must say that it's not that simple and unassuming!"
JM."What do you think about the league? Do you think it's varied enough? Is anything missing?"
IG."I like the variety and the structure we are using but it's hard to find players sometimes and specific league formats don't have many fans it seems. But altogether I like how the league is, the length of them are ideal to me and I also like the matches to be comfortable (you dont need to get online more often if you joined a league)"
JM."What is your favorite league format?"
IG."100 Card singleton by now, so many unique matches I played, it's just fun ;)"
JM."You often win the rounds you enter, why don't you enter more rounds?"
IG."ehh.. cut that question ;)"
JM."What is your favorite Pauper card?"
IG."Cuombajj Witches, I discovered her by finding cards for the tribal league for my mono black humans, unusual ability and funny artwork I think"
JM."Any advice for players who are struggling in the league?"
IG."Never give up, play mtg for having fun and not to win. Or something like that, I am struggling in finding the right english words ;)"
JM."You came second in the Alara block round. What deck(s) did you use?"
IG."I started with Naya and thought I had enough against that awful Esper flyers. Sigh. I realised that won't work, would have been cool to get that far without Esper :I"
JM."Would you rather play a tried and tested deck or go rogue?"
IG."When I build a deck I first go through my collection or to create a deck, after that I try some matches and then I look through the net for other players to see how they realised their ideas. To answer your question directly: I think I keep the golden mean [ed, Wikipedia defines the Golden Mean in philosophy as "the felicitous middle between the extremes of excess and deficiency"."
JM."Are you playing in the Creature Feature round? What sort of decks are you expecting to battle?"
IG."I'm not yet sure if I will enter, maybe I don't have much time next weeks, didn't build a deck yet but if i would use black: Cuombajj Witches, yay!"
JM."Thank you for your time, any final words?"
IG."I like the idea to interview clan members, hope there will be some more ;)"
I hope you have enjoyed this feature. I certainly think I have learned something of the character of an exemplary clan member. If you think this was interesting, and like the idea of learning a bit more about your colleagues then please post your comments below, and next time you are online on mtgo then take a few moments to talk to the people you see in the clan chat room.
The Creature Feature
I can't remember who suggested this format to give them their credit, but it seems to be a popular idea (more popular than Alara block anyway :o). From the basic suggestion that we play with creatures and lands only we have fleshed this out into what we now know as Creature Feature.

The rules are very simple. Using the classic pauper card pool you can play only creature and land cards in your deck. Additionally you may only stock twelve (12) copies of any creature type between the deck and sideboard (e.g. no more than 12 cards with the creature type Human). If you are wondering why this is necessary then you obviously haven't been exposed to the horror of Tribal Wars format with Slivers and Elves allowed.

In Common Sense league rounds you are allowed to play 20 matches overall, and you may play each contestant at most twice. You can change your deck between rounds. You can play different decks each match if you want to. We don't ask you to publish your deck lists, we do expect you to follow the deck building rules, and all matches must be viewable.

There is no established metagame for Creature Feature, so you may be wondering how to approach deck building. With only creatures to choose from you might expect stalled battlefields, so the first thing you will look for is creatures that have evasion. There's a lot to choose from. Flying creatures are always popular, then there is Shadow. There are unblockable creatures, and ones with landwalk or protection, and then there is the ability from the portal magic sets, horsemanship. Another way to bypass combat damage would be to find ways to do direct damage from 'pingers' like the afformentioned Cuombajj Witches, or 'drainers' like the Parasitic Strix.

Opportunities for wrath effects are slim, however you need to plan around the omnipresent Crypt Rats. Our old friend Guardian of the Guildpact is sure to make an appearance, as are ways to recur creatures from your graveyard.

During the playtesting to date we have seen the concept of 12 card 'units' being developed. By assembling units of cards with some internal synergy you simplify the process of deckbuilding. For instance you could combine a unit of Allies with a unit of Slivers in a blue and white deck to form a strong base for an aggro deck. Finish off with Mulldrifter and Veteran Armorer.

Another useful concept is recursion. I already mentioned the inclusion of stuff like Gravedigger to reuse the graveyard, and you can also abuse 'Come into the Battlefield' abilities by including units of 'gating' creatures like Whitemane Lion and Kor Skyfisher, the latter of which works really well with the 'spell lands' such as Kabira Crossroads.

I hope that has opened yor eyes to the potential of this format, and I look forward to battling some of you over the next 5 weeks.


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