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Who am I?

That’s the question of the day. Who am I?

Well I’m Joshua Lee an Injection Molding Setup Technician who lives in “Not far from” West-Central Ohio. In my off time I’m a Tabletop gamer who plays a lot of D&D and MTG and a Linux advocate.

Contact:

josh@10leej.com

I need to clean up my life…..

I’m currently pay check to paycheck. It’s the day after pay day (typically every Friday) Every month I make a single loan payment of $150, a phone bill $40 and auto insurance $95 and about $200 in monthly rent paid to my grandmother. On top of that everything I own is in piles. Literally. I don’t own shelves, very few cardboard boxes and ect.

It’s depressing just thinking about it. So this is my public statement that I need to clean up. There’s no reason why I need to be paycheck to paycheck on a cost of living of $485 with a weekly paycheck ranging about $330-$350. I currently have $109 on the 3rd paycheck of the month even if you calculate the roughly $60 of fuel costs I spend weekly.

It’s seriously time for me to make a budget and actually stick with it.

Setting Up A Good Streaming Layout

So let’s have a chat. There simply isn’t enough good quality streams for Paper TCG’s outside of a very select few. In this series of posts I’ll discuss everything about streaming a paper event! I’ll be using a lot of MTG based examples (since that’s the game I personally play and stream) but you can adjust for you’re game accordingly. Every aspect from software to equipment will be covered.

First of all let’s talk about a few key rules for a layout.

  1. You HAVE to have a 1080p camera (not simulated, REAL 1080p) minimum. This is important, because viewers WANT to see what the players are playing. Anything with a lower resolution simply just won’t do in my experience.
  2. Make sure any and all text is easily legible. Sure logo’s are fine to have with fancy script writing or whatever, but honestly a plain Arial or similar font should be used for life totals, timers, ect.
  3. Make the content you’re streaming more important than anything else. Sure you might be sponsored, but for the love of all that is fantastic. People want to see the games that are being played. Not Amp Energy Drinks covering 30% of the screen space.

Now let’s break this down in images.

The Good:

SMC stream

Credit: http://www.twitch.tv/SpringfieldMagicClub

Disclaimer: This is my own layout that I made in 5 minutes.

As you can see it has a roughly 75% or so space relegated specifically to the game area. It’s fairly simple and doesn’t offer too much, but it literally works and that’s all that’s needed.

Here’s another example:

Screenshot from 2017-04-14 12-34-40

Credit: http://www.twitch.tv/urzaslunchbreak

In this one they have yet an even simpler layout. It literally just displays he players names, decks, life totals, and the match results. They even got a little fancy and try to show what’s in the players hands.

Then we have probably the most viewed layout

scgtour.png

Credit: www.twitch.tv/scgtour

This layout does it all basically. it matches everything our first layout accomplishes and is more refined yet.

Now Bad

This is where it gets painful for me.

dmc stream.png

Credit: www.twitch.tv/dayton_magic_coverage

This is just painful to watch, sure it provides everything, but your text is in front of a too fancy graphic that can make it hard to read at a glance and actually intrudes on the play area. Worst of all IT’S NOT EVEN 16:9 aspect ratio! that means there’s all kinds of wasted space that literally could be used to fix all these issues.

scg ohio regionals.png

Credit: Comic Town Gaming Center

Now there’s something to be said here. Comic Town doesn’t actually use this screen throughout the whole match (they rotted in and out of it), but that said I’m using this specifically to show an example of what you really don’t want showing for an entire game. Remember what i said about advertising? You don’t want that much Amp Energy all the time. Same with player cams. They simply shouldn’t be up there. In this image I’m not even sure why you bother showing the play area since the players are resolving mulligans.

How to setup a layout:

First of all you need streaming software, I don’t care really what you use I personally use OBS myself so that’s what you’ll see in all these following images.

First of all let’s cover Scene’s. You’ll need at minimum 1, but you can really make as many as you want.

Let’s cover the main 3 I use in my streams:

The first Scene is what I call a Prep Scene

prep scene.png

Basically this scene gives viewers something to look at while you setup cameras, mics, ect without really showing the play space. you can also use this or an “Intermission”scene to setup your “Play Space” scene in between rounds.

Here’s my Intermission scene:

intermission-timeout.png

Again it’s similar to the Prep scene with really just different text on it. literally I use it in between rounds and I show it right at the very end of the stream too.

I also have 2 other scenes I use.

1. I actually have named “Intermission”intermission memes.png

It’s basically an even more simple intermission scene that scrolls through various MTG related meme’s (because, Internet).

2. A judge call scene

judge-call.png

This is how I notify viewers that a judge has been called. It’s only really shown for a short amount of time at most.

And this is my “Play Space” scene

play-space.png

I didn’t have a camera active when I took this shot but the red rectangle shows where the image would be.

Now let’s break how I run this

First of all I have to make the disclaimer that I run a Linux based OS. So some of my solutions won’t necessarily work for you.

All the text in my scenes are read from various text files.

text-files

I edit these fiiles and save them and have OBS read from the files. This enables a more professional look when life totals and ect. are modified or changed.

Now for my round clock I can’t necessarily do this. On some platforms you can download a program that will run a clock in a text file you can OBS read from (I believe it’s called “Snaz” not 100% sure). This simply isn’t an option for me so i have a work around.

I literally record the window of a task timer program called “Pomodoro”

pomodoro

It’s a little wonky, but it works quite reliably enough for me, literally I only need the time text myself so that’s all I capture. It also kind’ve forces my colors too. So my text in’t black on pure white it’s a little brownish on a very bright grey colored backround. Which is nice to look at after a while so I’ll live with it.

Sure my own layout might change over time, but this is what i’m personally working with.

As you can see I have our local magic club’s logo with the LGS’s logo this is important to have somewhere in your stream since it’s technically a sponsored stream. Might as well try to pull in some business for the place your playing at right? You can also use a store branded playmat if they have them like I was using above (the store only had 1 left in stock though so I had to live with the SCG playmat >.>)

In the next article I’ll talk about the equipment I use. As well as setting up audio.

I’ve been doing things….

So I have been vlogging recently on my youtube channel to try to teach mysellf some new tricks of the sort. It’s been pretty fun actually just ranting and mostly talking about the weather to my phone’s camera.

I’ve actually just been on a kick the last few weeks about creating content. I’ve even started posting stuff on my gaming channel again though it’s only been 2 videos so far. The big thing is that I’m going to be streaming the local MtG events for a while as i recollect myself on actually playing the game competitively.

For now though I’m surviving and fighting the good fight through life. This’ll be a nice short post so I’ll end it here. Expect more content to be coming!

Tournament Report: MUD 2/26/2016

Untitled Document.mdThe Deck:

MUD

by 10leej

Mainboard (83)

Artifact (17)

Land (24)

Creature (17)

Planeswalker (2)

Sideboard (15)

I played in 2 separate events last night in my first venture out with my newly received MUD deck. Safe to say I love how “consistent” the deck is. Overall decks great glad I bought it. Needs some fine tuning still.

Alas here’s the report:

Event 1:

Round 1: I played vs Burn, never got around to doing anything outside of game 2 where I managed to play all of the burn players favorite cards (I mulled to 4 game 1 and kept the shittiest hand alive game 3)

Round 2: It;s been 24 hours at this point, all I remember is that I lost.

Round 3: I played against budget grixis pyromancer. Lost to a timely Counterspell targetting my Blightsteel Colossus because I forgot to pay off my cavern which I forgot named “Golemn”

Event 2:

Second event 3-0-1 beating miracles, burn, and everyones favorite RUG delver player. Splitting with reanimator and losing quite handily in lolz play.

Round 1: I played Miracles, I love miracles. I’ll play above that counter top and make you waste all your terminus.

Round 2: Burn, I got the good hands

Round 3: RUG Delver, Turn 1 lodestone golemn, turn 2 trinisphere turn 3 chalice on 1. Stole game 1.Game 2 I did basically the same thing and we both kinda just stared at each other after he answered my lodestone golemns. Eventually I just went over top of him.

Round 4: Reanimator was a fun match. We split but played. Basically we just played all the hate cards and he went over top.

The Pithing Needle Guide

So we all know and love Pithing Needle. In every new deck I ever run it’s one of the first auto includes I throw in because here’s the thing. Pithing Needle is a universally good card, but what do you name? When do you name it? Why would you even run this thing?
Well lets look at this beast of a card eh? We’ll even break it down.

1 Generic Mana
As Pithing Needle enters the battlefield, name a card.
Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can’t be activated unless they’re mana abilities.

Key points
1: As Pithing Needle enters the battlefield, name a card.

This means that this is not a trigger, when you cast it just announce pass priority. Your opponent literally has no idea what your gonna say. This means you play the card from your hand pass priority. If you say “Cast Pithing Needle, name X card” You’re already doing it wrong (and yes I’m pretty sure your opponent can call a judge on you).

2: Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can’t be activated unless they’re mana abilities.

This is what the card itself does. Basically Pithing needle won’t let the card activate any abilities until Pithing Needle leaves play. Plain and simple right? Well it does have one exception. It won’t stop a mana ability (http://mtgsalvation.gamepedia.com/Mana_ability). Still not a bad thing for 1 mana right?

But, alas what do we name?

That’s a good question. Basically you need to have some knowledge of the meta game and how some decks work. But, you can always just hold onto the needle in your hand and just take a “wait and see” style approach. However if your running this mainboard, you probably want to learn the modern metagame before you run this card.

Well here’s a small cheat sheet for ya for a few of the decks running around.
Modern:
-Affinity
Arcbound Ravager
Cranial Plating
Inkmoth Nexus
Steel Overseer
Ghirapur Aether Grid

-Burn
Fetchlands (trick is that they have to fetch in response to you cast Pithing Needle)
Grim Lavamancer (if you really just want to name something)

-RG Tron
Oblivion Stone
Karn, Liberated
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Expedition Map
Youy cannot name Chromatic Star or Chromatic Sphere

-Abzan/Junk
Manlands
Liliana of the Veil
Sorin, Solemn Visitor

-Jund
Manlands
Liliana of the Veil
Olivia Voldare
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Fulminator Mage
Scavenging Ooze (yep, it’s actually a good idea to name this as thats how they keep themselves from killing themselves off Dark Confidant)

-Merfolk
Aether Vial
Cursecatcher
Mutavault

-Scapeshift
Sakura Tribe Elder
(post board)
Inferno Titan
Engineered Explosives
Spellskite

-Bx Eldrazi
Relic of Progenitus
Scrabbling Claws
Eye of Ugin
Ghost Quarter
Tectonic Edge

-Abzan Company
Viscera Seer
Qasali Pridemage (name this first or your needle dies)
Gavony Township
Horizon Canopy

-Living End (basically, just name creatures)
Faerie Macabre
Fulminator Mage
Deadshot Minotaur
Monstrous Carabid
Street Wraith
Pale Recluse
Jungle Weaver
Kessig Wolf Run
Brindle Boar

-Kiki Chord
Knight of the Reliquary
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Scavenging Ooze
Qasali Pridemage (name this first or your needle dies)
Kessig Wolf Run

-Grishoalbrand
Borborygmos Enraged (not Borborygmos, if you don;t remember the name ask a judge “whats the name of the legenday creature that that you discard lands to deal 3 damage?)
Griselbrand (name this second, after Borborygmos Enraged toi prevent your opponent from just drawing an answer assuming they have one)

-Lantern Control (yeah this deck mainbboards needles)
Codex Shredder
Ghoulcaller’s Bell
Pyrite Spellbomb
Ghirapur Aether Grid
Spellskite

-Tooth and Nail
Arbor Elf
Voyaging Satyr
Nissa, Worldwaker
Garruk Wildspeaker
Kessig Wolf Run

Got a deck you want to suggest options for? Just leave a comment, or alternatively ignore me completely.

Starting a Legacy 7/12/2015

So this weekend I was planning on attending the new Magic: Origins per-release held by a local game store. I was planning on attending all 3 events today they were holding starting at 8:00AM.

Unfortunately living an hour and a half away (yes this literally is the closest magic store for me) away this meant I have to wake up and be on the road by no later than 6:30AM, by now you’re likely assuming what I did not accomplish (hey it was Saturday night, what do you expect me to do?)

So I missed the first per-release and didn’t wake up till roughly 11AM, this meant I wasn’t going to be able to attend the noon per-release as well. However checking the store calender they conveniently post on their website I discover they have a Legacy tournament that same day. This meant I could still attend something at the time and hopefully have a good time.

However I was concerned because I like a lot of people didn’t have a legacy deck. I was a modern player.

This was an issue largely resolved when my brother offered to let me borrow his modern burn deck, of which $120 and a 12 cards later I turned it into a pretty decent looking legacy burn deck (I think) and proceed to pay my $5 measly dollars to expect to lose horribly and be told my deck sucks (I play in a very Johnnyish modern/standard meta).

This was completely, and entire different from what I experienced. My first match was against an individual playing a very different deck from what I’m used to playing against and I still haven’t quite figured it out to be honest. He was playing Mishra’s Factory in a mono blue shell. I figured he was playing some form of a lands deck. Then on game 2 he drops a Phyrexian Dreadnaught on me turn 3 and stifles the ETB trigger….

Yep I was introduced to legacy all right, I lost horribly and could’ve felt horribly. However during the course of the entire game my opponent and I talked and joked the whole game. I even told him about my day (of which he quickly apologized that he had to be the first player I played).

This alone kept me in good hopes even though I got my ass rather thoroughly kicked.

Game 2 I played what I assume to be a variant of Loam Aggro.

Fair deck vs fair deck? This’ll be good for me I hope. It was.

Lighted I didn’t blow the player out of the water we traded blows up till game 3 with me ultimately winning the match (each game we ended below 5 life). This not only helped feed my secret inner Johnny (I won a match after all) but realized my little $100 burn deck could actually compete.

Then I met counter top on match 3. Boy I heard about this combo and didn’t think much, then I played it. Light I don’t think this guy was playing miracles because all I ever saw were cantrips, counters, top, counterbalance, and monastery mentor. Lighted I was competitive the entire game I kept the pressure on (I think) that only a burn deck can do.

I discovered that the top is really hard to kill (cause well, it can defend itself with it’s second ability) So i gave up and decided to try to play around it. Unfortunately I lost….. However I still had a great time.

Game 4 I was playing for fun at this point. I’ve had a great time so far and even though I was playing for the honorarily of a booster pack given to every player who signed up I still wanted a competitive match up against a great deck, although I was playing in the gutter rounds.
Well guess what. I got what I wanted, I played Show and Tell.

I was expecting some deck I would trample all over (like whenever I got into the gutter rounds in modern) and be sad because I was left with that (I feel disappointed whenever I play against a horrible deck with an “okayish” deck).

Turn 3 Emrakul anyone? Holy crap.

Well game 1 I was blown out of the water obviously. On game 2 I boarded in all my blue hate (only 4 pyroblast) and threw in my 2 smash to smithereens just in case ( I have every game so far after all). Boy I surprised him on game 2 with that (no one expects the red counter right? He conceded afterwards)

Game 3 it was down to the wire, I kept a hand with 2 mountains, 1 pyroblast, 2 burn spells (had to mulligan twice due to no mana sadly). I played semi conservatively and even proceeded to draw an additional pyroblast (I was feeling good).

Drops the Show and Tell, I pyroblast, he counters with Daze, I counter again with the other Pyroblast. Boom he drops Force of Will. He gets the Omniscience, I drop an Eidolon of the Great Revel.

He dropped Emrakul getting an extra turn. He attacks I take going to 4 (he’s at 3) I sacrifice my board to annihilator and hope to draw a mountain for the lightning bolt in my hand.

Doesn’t happen. He proceeds to draw his library and win.

What did I learn? Burn sucks and I shoulda dropped $1000 on a deck right?

Nope I learned that even though I didn’t win much match wise I could compete in Legacy (all my matches went to round 3, well except the first one) and I was excited.

I liked playing Legacy (likely due to all my opponents I had a great interaction with). They made playing in Legacy great for me. In fact I even discovered that I liked playing legacy burn more than modern burn!

Next week the same store I went to will be hosting a tournament for an Autism Benefit, I don’t expect to win, but I’m gonna go and play and hope I do a better job next time. I think I’ll need some Pithing Needles for this time so make a few refinements and lets see how far I get!

Big thanks for Epic Loot Comics & Games in Centerville, Ohio for hosting a Legacy tournament in the middle of per-release I had a great time.

Disclaimer:

This article was posted by an individual who decided to wake up and spontaneously play a format he knew nothing about. Dont take anything posted in this article as playing advice or even relatively seriously).

-Joshua Lee