Friday, August 30, 2019

"K'rrik , Son of Yawgmoth - Spreading Phyrexian Mana"

"K'rrik , Son of Yawgmoth - Spreading Phyrexian Mana"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

K'rrik , Son of Yawgmoth continues the work that his father had begun. Spreading the word of Phyrexia to the multiverse. 

I am most excited about his static ability. Where for each swamp in a cost you may pay 2 life than pay that mana. 

Phyrexian Mana is now a thing! Well a stronger thing in EDH circles. Granted that it focuses mainly on black spells but hey all the other colors turn will come. We already saw that in New Phyrexia where Phyrexian Mana was first used. We might be seeing new ways of using this mana soon as the much hinted return to New Phyrexia is in the works.

For now though what are the implications of K'rrik in mono black EDH decks. 

Well it has been known that if you have a way to play spells without paying mana. Then that is certainly how you want to play things. K'rrik himself is not a 7 CMC , he only becomes a 4 colorless mana cost creature because you can be sure as hell that people will cast him that way. 

And then there are the spells that you can cast for free( well relatively) Sign in Blood for example if a 4 life cost rather than 2 mana. Skithiryx can now be cast for 3 colorless mana and 4 life. You can pay Phyrexian mana to give him haste or even regenerate him if an opponent responds to him. And you bet that there will be a ton of people trying this. The Phyrexian Crusader would be 1 colorless mana and 4 life. or basically 1 colorless mana. Insane.

And K'rrik feeds on this black spells that you have cast. He gets stronger by getting a +1/+1 counter on him every time you cast a black spell and surely he has given you quite the incentive to cast them.

And to make sure that you don't die he also has lifelink. The bigger he gets , the more damage he inflicts the more life you can get. Lifelink is also a hint as to what creatures that you would run with him. Maybe cast a 2 colorless , 4 life Whip of Erebos. I'm sorry. 2 colorless Whip. To give all your creatures life link. Hint hint.

"Dockside Extortionist: The Strongest Goblin."

"Dockside Extortionist: The Strongest Goblin."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Goblins are often judged by their aggression. Those who come in fast and lethal or who could bring with them the biggest comrades in battle. Yes Goblins are judged by what they can inflict on their opponents.

This guy however does not even need to attack. He just needs to be in the battlefield and he gives you an advantage or even yet a win condition but more on that later.

So Dockside extortionist is a 1/2 Goblin for 2 mana that has an ETB ability that reads. When Dockside extortionist enters the battlefield , create X Treasure tokens where X is the number of Artifacts and enchantments your opponents control. 

"A small price to keep such pretty things safe."

Yup this guys has the audacity to ask for money so that all the artifacts and enchantments a player controls go on being that way. No harm done. Just pay us in treasure.

So how do you win with this guy? Normally you would want to include him in a Grixis Deck. 

1) First way to win is with Revel in Riches! With all those treasure tokens coming your way and access to Black this enchantment is a must.

2) Hellkite Tyrant. Remember this guy? He wants to steal those all important artifacts from an opponent of your choice. Before attacking though make sure to cast Dockside extortionist to take advantage of the artifact count on the other side of the table. And then wait for your upkeep for the win.

3) Mechanized production is a win con as well here. Enchant a treasure. Win on your next upkeep!

4) Feedback bolt. By far one of my most favorite cards from the Mirrodin Block. Instant speed kill for at least one opponent with enough artifacts on the board.

5) Unli mana. It might not be a win con but it provides the stage for one.  With a Deadeye Navigator in play , Soulbounded to the extortionist and all those rocks and prohibitive enchantments in the mid to late game you have a potential combo for unlimited mana once more. Simply bounce the Dockside extortionist and get more and more treasures. Sacrifice 2 to bounce again and yeah unlimited mana! 

Yup. This guy just has to enter the docks and cause panic. I love it.

"The One's with the Red hats"

"The One's with the Red hats"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

"I saw you once. The only chance that I got to see you and talk to you."

"When was this?" V asked as he held on to the still naked Jinyo. 

"It was during a book signing.I think it was at a little Cafe bookstore in Gangnam. I managed to bribe my manager into bringing me there. You are an expensive person to meet."

"A little Cafe? Hmmmm. I only did a few of those. You don't mean the Dragon Brew right?"

"Is that the one with the cute dragon Barista logo?"

"That's the one."

"I was there.And I even got to ask you a question in the packed place. It seemed like I was not the only one interested in Hush. I was part of hundreds but I asked you anyway."

"Did you write your book for anyone in particular?" That was how you asked it right?"

"You remembered?"

"Well I actually got asked that a lot but never by a woman who refused to take off her mask and some strands of blond hair escaping from the red beret that she thought would hide all of that waist long hair."

Jinyo laughed. "So you remembered me?"

"I remember feeling odd when you looked at me.And this is after the fact that I have been asked that very same question hundreds of times. Did you remember my answer?"

"That you did write it for someone but it might be impossible for that person to actually read it."

"And your answer was , if she is not dead there is still that possibility that she could have read your message."

"The crowd laughed at that. I think they were curious that you might actually know me. You seemed to be so calm."

"Well I was not."

"I looked for you after wards but you disappeared."

"Practice/Promotions/Prior Engagement. Take your pick. I was lucky that I got to go at all."

"You were the girl in the red beret."

"I was."

"Since you told me this I have a confession. It was not the last time that we talked."


"Yes. I got to attend a fan sign of yours.In Japan."

"We did a lot of those even up to the very end."

"This was the first time you got into Shibuya Records though."

"You were there? You were actually there?"

"I was. Though I was sick at the time. I also had a mask on. I looked like everyone else who was there to see you."

"What were you doing in Shibuya?"

"I was meeting a friend who owed me several volumes of Manga."

"And you didn't just have that shipped to you?"

"Thank goodness I didn't. I was putting them away in my car when I saw all the frenzy that was surrounding you guys.At first I didn't know which group it was exactly they were so many people but when I saw "Oh My Doll" I knew that I had to go.I had to call my agent to get me in. And that was not easy. Good thing she knew the manager from Shibuya Records and I was able to slip in. You too were expensive to see."

Jinyo laughed at V's revenge. 

"I am happy to know that you were there. I think I messed up a lot that day. We have not had any decent sleep and there was a part where they wanted me to sing live. My voice was so raw at that point. I don't know how people would react."

"Are you kidding? I loved you there. You were honest. You sang your song and it seemed time stopped and I was able to see you but I doubt if you ever saw me. Or maybe you did. What was the strangest thing someone had you sign in that event if you remember?"

"Welll....hmmmm pretty normal stuff. There is this one guy though. He had me sign a Manga called the Dragon's bride instead of our album. I found it odd since fans normally would be carrying tons of things for us to sign or even touch if you would believe that."

"I believe it.And what do you remember about this guy who let you sign that manga?"

"He wore a mask. He had a red cap on."

V stood and went to rummage among his things. Jinyo noticed that he only had a few bags but there was a heavy duty one that he never seemed to open. 

V handed her a manga that was sealed in clear plastic and there in the middle where she had signed. "Get well soon and stay healthy."

Jinyo looked at V and kissed him. Here they were chasing each other and finally were together.

"The Summons"

"The Summons"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

V had come and gone as he pleased that YuuA was no longer surprised. It still upset her when he would disappear but she had grown to somewhat expect her lover to be somewhere else at certain times of the month. And he would never even bother to answer when she asked. He had his ways of evading her direct questions and she would always get it when he did not want to talk about something. Time taught her that a little patience with the Dragon yields better results than insistent badgering. Like her , he divulges things when he feels that he is ready.

He had called her in the middle of practice. As rookies they would have been punished for that but personal calls were now allowed especially for her. Mr. Kim seems to give them a lot of lee way after their first string of wins and the CF contracts that came with those wins.

"Yes?" YuuA asked in her sing song voice hiding her excitement but lowering her tone a little. She knew he could tell though.

"I want to see you." It was just like him to be that straight forward and it was something that she liked.


"The Dragon vault."

"I'd be done with practice in an hour or so.Could you wait?"

"Hand the phone to your choreographer." Was that a sigh she heard on the other side of the phone?

The stern looking Choreographer took the phone and listened to the dragon known as V and the irritation on her face disappeared to one of fear. She had caught herself and handed the phone back to YuuA.

"It is ok YuuA-shi. We will continue the practice without you. You have gotten everything anyway."

Bee and Seunsee began to rise to accompany YuuA.

"You two stay. We still have a lot to do."

YuuA looked at her protectors and she felt a dark mood rising from Bee who was about to protest. Seunsee held her arm and Bee thought better of it. YuuA was going to V and she would not need protection. It was the Dragon who needed it. YuuA despite her patience will want his explanations for his month long absence. And no one would pity V when she began asking her questions.

"Maloko si Oko"

"Maloko si Oko"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

I was reading the interview for Oko and all I can say is Maloko siya. Maloko si Oko. It seems that Magic wants another trickster planeswalker and Throne of Eldrain has one in Oko.

While they did not reveal his abilities let us hope that it does reflect on his mischievousness. Now so far that is all we know of him so this is about the time that we enter into speculative theories.

#1 Oko will introduce new mana in MTG.

While there have been talks about this new 6th color since as far as I can remember while playing magic , there have been no signs that it would actually come true. Some people thought it was the Wastes from Battle of Zendikar but that is just a symbol upgrade for something that already exists. Colorless mana. 

However this pictue of Oko shows 3 mana threads and one of them is colored purple. The very same color that people always speculate will be the new color of Magic. As of this point we can not be sure but if this is a new color of magic then there will be a lot of things to consider. A new Color Pie chart for one. And that things that it can cast. Maybe Barney.

#2 Oko is kind of like Loki.

Notice the OK in between there.Yeah. I did too. It means nothing. But the thing I would like to point is that if Oko is a shapeshifter(like Loki) and mischievous(like Loki as well) He might very well be the first planeswalker to turn into a creature that is a copy of an existing creature on the battlefield. Yes we had Gideon(who turns to an Indestructible Soldier) and Sarkhan(who turns into a Dragon) but we never had a planeswalker card that could potentially turn into anything that is on the battlefield. Who knows he might not just be limited to copying creatures.

#3 Oko and the Kpop aesthetic

Many players have been pointing to this Kpop vibe that Oko exudes and why not right? Kpop is pretty mainstream nowadays and a lot of MTG fans are also Kpop fans. It might be the right time for a Korean inspired set. We have been to China , Japan , India , Greece. Maybe it might be Korea's turn next.

"Walang Katapusang paghuhukom"

"Walang Katapusang paghuhukom"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Umalulong ang mga ulol
Sa sulok ng mga silid
Nang luminis and luntiang paligid
Usok pa din usong binibilin

tumatak ang tamang salita
sa noo ng mamang mataba
Di na ako uulit , di na uulit 
Di din naman mapapawi
ng galit ang mga nasawi
tatataas lang nang tataas
ang presyong sisingilin sa huli

Sumigaw man ng sumigaw
ng hinihinging paghihiganti
Di naman mararating 
ang mga tenga ng bobo't bingi

August 31 , 2019. 4:52am

"A brush with Death"

"A brush with Death"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

V walked into the bar and sat at the very edge. Once in awhile he would signal a drink from the pretty bartender and it would slide right over to him. The place was full enough where you can still move around and maybe even whisper a few suggestive things to that attractive stranger that seems to have caught your eye. V was not in the mood for any of that game tonight. He wanted his drink and he wanted a lot of it.

So when the group of 7 entered the bar and began their noisy chatter V had to look and it was among them that he saw her. Long black hair with the tips ending in silver and curled. He felt like he was punched in the gut. How can she be here of all places? He had to put down his drink and see who she was with. V did not know of the girls surrounding her but they seemed to be tightly packed that no one could approach her. A shield formation if he ever saw one. Of course that won't stop him if he chose. It was her that she was afraid of. If it was really her. He had to know for sure and there was only one way to find out.

A few seconds later a dagger went straight to the beautiful stranger much to the surprise of her companions and none on the part of V as she had caught it by the hilt and looked at the direction where it came from. V waved at her awkwardly and a smile broke across her face. A smile that he had not seen in over 60 years. It was really her. It was YuuA.

She had parted the wall that were her companions and went directly toward V. "Shouldn't you offer a lady a drink first before trying to murder them or have we lost our manners through the years V?" Her tone was serious but her eyes told him otherwise.

"Merely a test. Rusty warriors usually die before they are offered a drink."

"Fine. Now where is that drink?"

V waved to the bartender and 2 drinks slid in his direction. He clinked the shot glass at the one that YuuA did not pick up. "Cheers.To old friends."

YuuA drank the whole thing down and plunged her hand towards V's chest. "To old friends."

V spewed blood from his mouth as he felt the speed of his ex lovers attack.

"Just making sure you had a beating heart." The slender female said as he caressed the beating organ from within. "Now it is time to extinguish it."

YuuA was able to crush the mans heart with ease and he fell head first into the counter.

"I thought you would have lasted more than this V. Such a shame." The girl started to move toward her friends when the bartender stopped her. 

"You are picking up his tab." The woman behind the counter said  as if nothing happened. This was a place of death after all.

"With him. It might not even be much. He is fond of cheap whiskey and such. Go ahead and..."

V's laughter echoed in the crowded room. It was maniacal at best. Crazy at it's worst and he was standing up too with the hole in his chest now fully closed.

"What are you laughing about? I just killed you?"

"Killed. Past tense. I'm back. If only it were that easy then I won't even be here drinking."

YuuA sighed. "Come and join me and the girls then. I promise not to kill you tonight."

"I don't even know why I am turning that down. A night with a demon horde seems fun but not tonight."

"Fine. I'll kill you later?" The girl tilted her head sideways and made the threat seem cute with her eyes smiling at him.

"You can try. It was nice running into you."

"I can't say the same. You normally let me kill you at least three times. What's your problem?"

"What makes you think I have a problem?"

"Dead one time and now avoiding me."

V laughed.

"No longer attracted to death are we?"

"Why do you always make this about you?"

"Isn't everything going to be about me in the end?"

"It must bother you when that something does not end the way you want it."

YuuA's eyes narrowed into slits and with a motion that was too fast for mere mortals decapitated V whose blood spurt over the bar and some people , who promptly ignored the wet works.

The girl followed where the head flew and watched it turn into fine dust. V stood up with his head intact looking at his killer. 

"What were you saying?" YuuA asked.

"It does not end the way you want it."

And again the girl attacked but this time V blocked it with the shot glass he was holding.YuuA was surprised that the little glass did not shatter nor the few drops of alcohol in it move at all. He was doing it again. Absorbing time and everything else into this small thing.

"No new tricks? Always absorbing chaos magic like this?"

"Nope no new tricks for this old dog. Your friends seem bored. You might want to join them before they start biting some of the patrons heads."

"I honestly just want your company V. Why can't you get that?"

"I got it exactly 60 years ago when you left." V stood up and threw a Platinum card at the bartender."Here put the cost here. And the Demon horde over there can have anything they want on me."

The Bartender took the card and nodded.

"I will be seeing you."

"I know where you live."

"I knew but that doesn't mean you'd want to pay me a visit. Death often hates what it cannot kill."

"Doesn't mean I will stop trying though."

"You forgot about me for the last 60 years until now."

"You are right. It is so much fun and the night is still young."

"Don't cull too much ok? I still need a lot of mortals to go to work tomorrow."

"I would do the best that I can."

"Not good enough."

"Oh ok. I would just collect the dues and not put some icing on my cake."

"Make sure that you do."

V stepped out of the bar and into the street vendor across the street. A brush with death always gave him an appetite.