Monthly Archives: December 2016

Big Mean Power Doubling Machine

I went looking for a deck I could potentially play at Friday Night Magic that did not cost an arm and a leg to put together and one that would not rotate out of standard in a month. The Professor once again came to the rescue with this video.

This deck seemed to fit the bill nicely, fun to play and competitive. I will warn you though, it will cost more than $20. When I put this together on CardKingdom it cost me about $35 and it is now approaching $50. This is not uncommon when a deck becomes popular. This deck is designed to take advantage of the Energy mechanic to pump up creatures, in the case of the Electrostatic Pummeler this can but used to the devastating effect of having a 20/20 trampling creature on turn 4. Its major problem is, it is an aggressive deck with very few solutions to threats created by your opponent. There are only 2 Deathlock Traps in the main deck for this purpose. The side board does provide a few more solutions for various threats to fine tune the deck in game 2 and 3 of a match.

“Big Mean Power Doubling Machine”
Creatures:
4 Architect of the Untamed
3 Bristling Hydra
4 Longtusk Cub
2 Deathcap Cultivator
4 Electrostatic Pummeler
4 Sage of Shaila’s Claim
4 Servant of the Conduit

Spells:
4 Attune with Aether
3 Blossoming Defense
4 Larger Than Life

Artifacts:
2 Deadlock Trap

Land:
4 Aether Hub
4 Evolving Wilds
14 Forest

Sideboard:
1 Blossoming Defense
1 Bristling Hydra
2 Deadlock Trap
1 Deathcap Cultivator
3 Hunt the Weak
2 Take Down
2 Thriving Rhino
3 Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot

2016: Well that kinda sucked

Well what can I say 2016 was a pretty fucked up year. While my personal life had a couple of bumps in the road, it was really nothing any adult middle aged person can’t handle without too much in the way of problems. The rest of the world on the other hand seemed to be bent on starting dumpster fires everywhere.

For my own personal bumps, my mother had a stroke forcing me to return to Montana for a few days. My mother is doing better, but PezWitch had to stay in Montana for 5 weeks to help out my family while she recovered. This made for a rather stressful summer and I was a bit lonely while she was gone.

Every year brings the deaths of prominent and beloved people, this year was especially bad with Prince, David Bowie and Carrie Fisher passing on. All of these people impacted my life in one way or another and to varying degrees. Carrie Fisher was especially saddening, while her career basically peaked at the age of 21, many of her problems were brought on by mental illness and drug addiction. I can only imagine what she would have accomplished if someone had stepped in when she was 25 rather than 45.

All in all it has been a rough year, but as always, I am optimistic for the the new one.

 

Blue Hate

I think Wizards of the Coast has pretty much through out the history of Magic: The Gathering, hated the color Blue. When I first started playing I was a consummate Blue player. I loved the nuanced play and the dread on an opponents face as he looked at your 2 untapped islands. Later as I developed as a player, I stopped playing blue, I moved to Black. This happened because Blue was not a good choice for tournament decks. Blue had no speed cards and no decent creatures, really all it had was counter spells, which was great for splashing into control decks, but I have never seen a really effective Mono Blue Tournament deck. In fact I have seen very few effective casual Mono Blue decks. My experience has been that virtually every other color can stand on its own as a Mono Color deck, now do you generally want to do this…no, but the other colors, especially Red and Black have almost continually had Mono Colored tournament deck options.

Looking at the sets available today, I see things have really gotten worse. the original Counterspell is gone, so is Power Sink and even the barely usable Mana Leak have all been removed and replaced with weaker or more expensive cards. All of the creatures available are more expensive to cast than their Black or Green equivalents and even the card drawing and deck top decking mechanics have been eliminated or made too expensive to bother using. Even on the occasional event that WotC does release a cool blue creature, like Delver or Snapcaster, they are quickly dealt with in the next release with hate cards designed to be specifically used against decks that had those cards.

I think the problem is that Blue pisses other players off, players don’t like to have their clever combos and stunning strategies disrupted by a counter spell. Back in the summer of 95 if you wanted to see a Black player cry, counter his Necropotence, or better yet, counter his Nevinyrral’s Disk so he can’t get rid of the Necropotence when he wants to start drawing cards normally. It was hard to beat a Necro player back in the day, but I did it a few times and every single time the player bitched about how unfair counter spells were, even though they were playing with the single most broken card of the era. Somewhat later in a tournament, I was playing against an Erniegeddon deck, the guy played Armageddon to destroy all lands, the used a Zuran Orb to sacrifice all of his land for life. I casually told him, “You should have waited to find out if was going counter your Armageddon” as I tapped two islands and laid down a counterspell. His face turned red and the blood veins were popping out of his forehead. I was almost afraid he was going to punch me.

I think WotC hates the Blue color or at the very least is very afraid of the player revolt that will happen if Blue is allowed to dominate Standard for awhile.

More Magic the Gathering

It is well known that I am Magic: The Gathering addict. Occasionally I lapse and buy a bunch of cards, play some games, realize I have spent WAY too much money on them and go cold turkey for a year or two. Well, I have fallen off the wagon again, this time I have sworn I will not spend $1000 on the damn things. While I was poking around my favorite online card store I found what they call Battle Decks. Basically they assemble decks from their cheap card bin and sell them for $10. I was a bit skeptical at first so I went out looking for reviews thinking some one or several someones have bought these and have an opinion on them. Well it is the internet so yes of course someone had an opinion on them. I actually found several reviews, but this one I liked best.

The Professor is goofy and talks about Magic in a light hearted, but intelligent manner, focusing on casual play rather than blood thirsty, win at all costs tournament play. I have not played the decks yet, that is for this weekend. Once PezWitch and I have duked it out a couple of times I will write something on how it went. In the meantime, if you are looking for some cheap well constructed decks, here you go.

http://www.cardkingdom.com/catalog/shop/battle-decks

Here are the decks I purchased.

Robo Weenie
4 Bonded Construct
4 Court Homunculus
4 Porcelain Legionnaire
4 Runed Servitor
4 Cathodion
4 Oppressive Rays
4 Sunlance
4 Flayer Husk
1 Darksteel Axe
4 Glint Hawk Idol
2 Rusted Relic
4 Foundry of the Consuls
17 Plains

Enchantress Blossom
4 Aura Gnarlid
4 Heliod’s Pilgrim
4 Auramancer
4 Blessed Spirits
4 Eidolon of Blossoms
4 Pacifism
4 Snake Umbra
4 Hopeful eidolon
2 Heliod’s Emissary
1 Oath of Ancient Wood
1 Lightform
4 Selesnya Guildgate
4 Blossoming Sands
8 Forest
8 Plains

Blood Brothers
4 Vampire Lacerator
1 Stromkirk Condemned
1 Rakish Heir
4 Olivia’s Bloodsworn
4 Ravenous Bloodseeker
2 Furyblade Vampire
4 Stromkirk Occultist
2 Fiery Impulse
2 Distemper of the Blood
2 Call the Bloodline
3 Fiery Temper
2 Stensia Masquerade
2 Flames of the Firebrand
4 Alchemist’s Greeting
12 Swamp
8 Mountain
4 Bloodfell Caves

Monster Boobs (its not what you think)

PezWitch asked me about the latest twitter shit storm around Dungeons and Dragons yesterday and I had to admit that I had not idea what was going on. I have really moved away from social media over the last month or so, while I re-opened my accounts for the sake of convenience, I really do not pay much attention to them these days and even when I do, I tend to loose interest pretty fact. So I had to go and root around a bit to find out what the deal was.

Apparently Cecilia D’Anastasio wrote an article for Kotaku analyzing Wizards of the Coasts move away from overly sexualized monsters on D&D.

http://kotaku.com/dungeons-dragons-gradual-shift-away-from-monster-boo-1790002540

I have to say, I am not sure why this is a thing. This has been happening since AD&D 2nd edition, it is not new. I don’t think this has been about “Political Correctness”, I honestly think this is about making the game available to wider audiences and making modern parents more comfortable buying their 12 year old boy or girl the books. I see nothing wrong with this. Frankly, I have to say I like the shift in art, the Dungeonpunk style of 3E and 4E just did not appeal to me much, I prefer the more natural colors and softer tones of the current edition.

When all is said and done, this is just one persons take on the current state of D&D. For every person out there screaming “Political Correctness!” there is also a person screaming “Objectification of Women!”, so I am thinking they probably got it just about right.

Stoddard Family Siblings

stoddard-siblings-merged

The old picture was taken in the late 60’s, I am thinking 68 or 69 because I cannot be more than 6 in that picture. The newer picture was taken this last Thanksgiving. I am posting this here for posterity sake.