Monthly Archives: January 2012

Yet More Magic: The Gathering

Here are two more decks. These decks mostly utilize common and and uncommon cards and actively try to avoid using power cards. Back in the day, it was pretty easy to put together either of these decks for $20 or less. I had pretty good luck with both decks.

The first deck is a green mana deck. The idea is to place a couple of Birds of Paradise and Llanowar Elves into play for an early Craw Wurm. Later in the game, they can fuel a huge Stream of Life. The deck also sports plenty of removal and has a defense against virtually every permanent type. I have taken out many Serra Angles with the Giant Spider/Giant Growth combo.

4 Bird of Paradise
4 Scryb Sprite
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Giant Spider
4 Craw Wurms
2 Desert Twister
2 Hurricane
2 Crumble
2 Tranquility
4 Stream of Life
4 Giant Growth
4 Fog
20 Forrest

Next is a Sligh deck, known mostly for its use of crappy cards. The basic idea here is the deck is built around a mana curve and the decks ability to efficiently use all of its mana every single turn. In the early game, the player casts 1 mana creatures and defends them with Incinerates and Lighting Bolts, by mid game there should be plenty of mana for the Detonates or Disintegrates to finish off your opponent. While it is possible to get mana screwed with this deck, I have played and won several games running on 2 mountains.

4 Brass Man (1 Mana)
4 Goblin Balloon Brigade (1 Mana)
4 Lightning Bolt (1 Mana)
4 Ironclaw Orcs (2 Mana)
4 Incinerate (2 Mana)
4 Orcish Artillery (3 Mana)
4 Serrated Baskelion (3 Mana)
4 Dragon Whelp (4 Mana)
2 Detonate (X Mana)
2 Disintegrate (X Mana)
4 Quicksand
20 Mountains


Windows 7 etc

I readily admit I was in a bad mood this morning when I got up and that was very definitely a contributing factor. However, one of the reasons I was in a bad mood was, during last nights game, OpenRPG/Traipse kept lagging on me for sometimes 2-3 minutes. I am certain this is a problem either with Windows 7 or Python for Windows. It is not a network issue, because no one else was having the issue and I was connected directly to the server on my internal network and my ping times to the server were constantly at around 0.250 ms and stayed that way even when OpenRPG was lagging. I realize this is a problem with my system and its configuration, because many people use OpenRPG under Windows with no issues. But for whatever reason, it was not working for me.

So, this morning I blew away Windows 7 and reinstalled Linux Mint 12, two weeks short of my promised 30 days of Windows. I am now very nicely back in Linux where I belong. I guess I have been using it too long to be comfortable with anything else on my personal system. I think I am going to install the Enlightenment Desktop Manager along with a Giger theme just because I can.

LPI-1 Certification

This afternoon and went and took my Linux Certification. I took a chance and took both the 117-101 and 117-102 back to back. Each test was 60 questions and I had 90 minutes to complete each test. The test is scored from 200-800 points, with 500 needed to pass. I managed to get a 700 on both tests. So Yay me.

If anyone is looking for a good way to study for a cert, I suggest The program to use the study material is $30 and can be purchased at I suggest reading the reviews of each of the files before committing to them, some of them are out of date and some of them are poorly made.

Second batch of beer

My second batch of beer got bottled yesterday. This time around I went for a darker beer and I messed around some with the receipt. I drew a bit out to taste it, this batch at this point smells lighter and tastes smoother than the last batch coming out of the fermenting keg, although, I think the alcohol content is probably lower. The beer will now sit in the bottles at room temperature conditioning and carbonating for two weeks, then into the refrigerator for two more weeks of cold lagering. This time around I used 16 oz bottles instead of 32 oz. Those big bottles are nice for frat boys, but for me, is a battle to get through.

Lifes little oddities

Okay so here I am in the middle of my month of using Windows 7 and I am now in a situation where I need to renew my LPI-1 Linux Certification. Oddly, this means I need to setup Linux running on Virtualbox. I am not sure of this is Irony or a weird Juxtaposition. They say the LPI test is distro neutral, but the last time I took it, it was heavily weighted towards RPM based distros like RedHat and CentOS. Since RedHat requires a chunk of cash to get even update support, I went with CentOS. I am very use to installing Windows into a VM under Linux, but not so much installing Linux into a VM under Windows. This all good practice I suppose.

Way behind

I did not realize I was so behind on posts here. This is only my 7th post since the beginning of the year. To be honest, it is because most of my spare time has been eaten up with reading (6 books in 2 weeks) and playing Duel of Planewalkers. I suppose I will have to endeavor to do better.

RE: Windows 7 and Magic: The Gathering

So here I am in my first week of using Windows 7 and it does not completely suck. I am annoyed that I must now care about malware and such, but otherwise things have went smoothly. My only real comment at this point is Windows is not a very amusing operating system.

The thing that has brought me back to my Magic: The Gathering addiction is, PezWitch, for whatever reason thought it was a good idea to buy me Duels of the Planeswalker PC Game. This is the moral equivalent of giving a recovering alcoholic a drink and saying, “Just have one, it won’t hurt.”. We will see how she feels about this when I have spent our life’s savings trying to acquire a special edition foil wrapped Black Lotus.

More Magic: The Gathering

The Pestilence deck I developed for group play and it was very effective for producing a difficult to survive environment.

4 Pestilence
4 Dark Ritual
4 Circle of Protection – Black
4 Drain Life
4 White Knights
4 Order of Leitbur
4 Order of the White Shield
4 Cemetary Gate
4 Mishra’s Factory
12 Swamp
12 Plains

This was a pretty standard ChronoStasis deck. I remember this one because when I was at Fort Hood, there was this guy who thought he was pretty hot shit since he had beaten me a couple of games. I advised him that I was playing fairly tame decks designed for interesting and fun games and I was playing by the Queens rules, which included, be nice to n00bs. He called me a liar, so I pulled out this deck and promptly destroyed him in 10 consecutive games.

4 Chronatog
4 Serra Angel
4 Zephyr Falcon
4 Stasis
4 Kismit
4 Howling Mines
4 Counter Spell
4 Force of Will
4 Sword to Plowshare
12 Plain
12 Island

This deck is a standard discard deck. This was the deck I used in the last tournament I played. I won the tournament because in the final round the guy I was playing ran a very slow Green/White/Blue deck designed to run me out of cards. It was a highly effective deck and he won the first round. After I sideboarded in the Death Grip, Gloom and Black Vise, I ate his lunch the next two games, in the third, I used Dark Ritual bring a Gloom into play on the first turn and things went down hill for him from there.

4 Order of the Ebon Hand
4 Hypnotic Specter
4 Abyssal Specter
4 Sengir Vampire
4 Hymn to Tourach
4 Stupor
4 Dark Ritual
4 The Rack
4 Strip Mine
4 Misha’s Factory
20 Swamp

3 Gloom
3 Death Grip
3 Black Vise
3 Terror
3 Drain Life

Magic: The Gathering

Hello, my name is Carnifex, I am a Magic: The Gathering addict. At the height of my addiction I was a pretty fucking good player. I spent the Black Summer deployed to Bosnia and in the tournaments we played there, I dominated the scene with this now classic NecroDeck. I still have this deck laying around somewhere.

4 Necropotence
4 Drain Life
4 Dark Ritual
4 Hymn to Tourach
4 Nevinyrral’s Disk
4 Knight of Stromgald
4 Hypnotic Specters
4 Sengir Vampires
4 Strip Mines
4 Mishra’s Factory
20 Swamps

This deck was considerably slower and much harder to win with, but was fun to play none the less. I called it the Blue Cheese.

4 Nevinyrral’s Disk
4 Counter Spell
4 Force of Will
4 Lightning bolt
4 Fire Ball
4 Clay Statue
4 Ghost Ship
4 Uthden Troll
4 Strip Mines
4 Mishra’s Factory
10 Island
10 Mountain

Finally, for some reason, this was the deck everyone hated the most. It was not terribly effective, but it was kind of hilarious to see peoples faces when I played a Didgeridoo. When we played exclusive Ice Age block games, this was the deck I used. If we were not playing Ice Age block, I would use Hurloon Minotaur rather than the Anaba Ancestor and substitute Lighting bolts for the Incinerates.

4 Didgeridoo
4 AEther Storm
4 Incinerate
4 Counter Spell
4 Force of Will
4 Anaba Shaman
4 Labyrinth Minotaur
4 Anaba Spirit Crafter
4 Anaba Ancestor
12 Island
12 Mountain

30 Days of Windows 7

It has been several years since I have used Windows for anything other than work, Linux has been my OS of choice for more than decade and frankly, I am very satisfied with it. So being the type of guy I am, I periodically try different technology to make sure the universe is working the way I think it is. I am going to give Windows 7 an honest try for 30 days, to see how things go. Yesterday I backed up my data, wiped my hard drive and installed Windows 7. Admittedly, I installed Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice onto the system right after installing drivers and updates, to make my stay in Windows more comfortable. The adventure begins.

Two Reviews

The Lost Fleet Series by Jack Campbell: It normally takes me seven to ten days to read a book, I know, I know, I am a fairly slow reader. However, I have plowed through the first three books of this series in the last week. Campbell builds an interesting universe where humanity has been engaged in a galactic war with itself for more than a century and due to staggering losses, the war has degenerated into horrible stale mate with the two sides throwing cheap ships with raw crews at each other in near one for one exchanges. The main character John “Black Jack” Geary is an interesting characterization of a man out of time. Although some times it feels like a cross between between Andromeda and Idiocracy, over all it is an excellent read.

Legion of SuperHeroes/Star Trek crossover: When this first came out, I avoided it like the plague, I figured there was no way this was going end well. So by the time the 3rd issue was out, I started reading some reviews of it saying it was turning out pretty good. So I went to my friendly neighborhood comic shop and picked up the first three issues. All I can say about this is, it really sucks ass far worse than I originally thought. Whoever thought this was a good idea needs to fired from IDW and DC Comics. Seriously, I knew who the villain was by page twelve of issue 1, the plot is not only predicable, it is BORING and predictable. The characterizations of the Legion is completely two dimensional and the Enterprise crew is presented in extremely cliched manner and is almost a parody. Please do not waste your money on this crap.