Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Limit Breakers"

Limit breakers
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Walter Bishop (The crazy and funny mad scientist type from the Fringe Series) was on to something when he said that Minds, all of our minds start with limitless potential and the more we learn and experience things the more we find limitations. The Fringe Series has dwelled on the unlimited powers of the mind and Olivia Dunham the main female lead is a manifestation of these powers. I want to say that Ignorance is really bliss. If one knows that bullets will not kill you, you won’t be paralyzed by fear when you are in a gun fight but knowledge does come at a price and knowing the pain of searing hot lead causes fear and preservation the next time a gun fight occurs. It’s like when you didn’t know that something hot can burn you. Nowadays people even have an aversion for heat!
I always believe that knowing one's limits could actually allow you to know what direction to push when it is needed but limitations are merely that, they limit you to great things that you otherwise can achieve. Yes it is our mind warning us of danger and avoidance of pain but it is this very thing that separates the great from the simple. If Isaac Newton knew his limitations he wouldn’t have invented the light bulb, if scientists would listen to the inner voice that would say this is impossible and this isn’t going to happen then great things wouldn’t have been born at all, there would be no man on the moon or there won’t be mega structures that dwarf man, there won’t be vaccines and there won’t be great strides in scientific history at all. Fear limits us but knowledge of limitations limits us far more. So what are we to do? Sometimes it is best to do things without thinking ahead, Batman would probably argue with me on that but there are times that you see a situation and you need to take advantage of it. The results often vary but it is still satisfying to know that you were not limited by anything and that you had followed the desires of your heart rather than your mind. And when limits are ignored there are so much more that we can achieve. Go ahead and be a limit breaker today.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"The Boni Waiting Shed"

The Boni Waiting Shed
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

There is a waiting shed in Boni Avenue. It’s the one that stretches a few feet from Edsa itself and ending near the entrance of Robinson's Pioneer. A long waiting shed where people wait. A lot of people wait for other people. Some wait for things. Some wait for nothing.

I sit there in warm and cold times, the slender roof shelters me from heat and rain and my observations continue. When people all around you are in a rush, you seem to be suspended in some time warp. There are attractive office girls running and mothers off to bring their children to school. The buzzing of cars turning right to Pioneer and The buses from Edsa a mere few feet away from me screeching to a halt to discharge passengers in a hurry lest the MMDA watch dogs catch them and give them a ticket for illegal unloading and loading. I sit near a magtataho at times and I see that with the fast influx of people comes a fast influx of trade for him as well. He hands them the taho cups out 2 or 3 at a time for people who might or might have not had a decent breakfast and the taho in all its soya goodness is still filling.

The police who are stationed to the area often sit at the edges of the long waiting shed waiting for a random bus to board and check , mainly to calm a populace that are weary of bombs and other terrorist threats. Recently there has been fewer and fewer of them as things have gotten back to normal and they can again be reassigned to other tasks. Life does go on in that waiting shed and if you stay long enough you actually feel like you are in some stop motion camera experiment where you stand still and the rest of the world moves without you in a dizzying blur. Those who stay in the shed continue to wait , for associates to have meetings with , once a couple of very active 60 year old women were waiting for the other members of their aerobics group and it is interesting to note that even in there advanced ages they seem to be moving as fast as the other people around them. You have your smokers and non smokers who try to ignore each other and the lovers who are trying to speak calmly but you cannot help but see that one of them is crying in frustration. A normal scene and not the last one in that waiting shed. I wonder what thing I will see next in that very interesting place.

Friday, January 27, 2012

"No Ordinary bus ride…"

"No Ordinary bus ride…"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

     Recently I had the mixed curse and blessing of riding an ordinary bus to work. It was a cool night and that would play a great role in my comfort later.

     I flagged down a bus and thought that I was boarding an air-conditioned bus because when it was speeding toward me it looked like one , but I was surprised to see that all the windows were open and letting in the same cool air I was enjoying just seconds ago. I had a choice, I could stay or I could go down, Ordinary buses had a reputation for attracting unsavory character types but this bus seemed to have ordinary looking passengers, students from Fatima and people getting off from work and even some people who looked like they had the night shift as well (they had the same just got out of the shower look as I did).

     So I decided to stay and the moment I sat down I realized that I was in for a ride. I suddenly thought of 2 places that you normally wouldn’t mind passing by if you were in an air-conditioned bus. That was the Tullahan Bridge and Balintawak. The former was flanked on both sides by the Balintawak Beer Brewery who has dumped their chemical wastes in the river for decades , it also happened to be the end point where garbage from nearby Quezon City would accumulate. It once was said that you can't fall into the river, the garbage was solid enough to step on! As for Balintawak, that places has long been the common market where goods were being sold. Livestock and vegetables and all their accompanying filth. Both places stank the hell out of each other and I haven’t smelled these places for years now thanks to the air-conditioned buses that took me from Valenzuela to the MRT in Trinoma.

     Now I was dreading not getting down but the moment we passed The Tullahan River I realized that the place didn’t smell at all and at the breakneck speed of the Bus (literally because it would swerve in and out of traffic like we were riding a crazy taxi, this would be crazy bus) the cool air actually felt and smelled great. The same can be said when we passed the Balintawak area, the smoke was still there but the stench of a market no longer permeated the air. I started to think I was having a cold but I wasn’t. Could it be that these places were actually getting better? Just one look at the garbage piles accumulating on the street made me think otherwise. The crazy bus ride was fast, gran turismo fast as the bus can speed up among other vehicles. I was at MRT Trinoma within 15 minutes! It was fun though my neck still hurts from all that weaving in and of traffic.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Bio Break..."

Bio Break...
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

I sit here bleary eyed
the monitor seems to mock me
my voice falters a bit more
as my customer cant hear me

I ask for their numbers
and so they reply
I troubleshoot their problems
and then they say goodbye

I get the sweet ones
and the sour ones too
the grannys who want my help
and the techies who cant do

I hear the accents
I hear them yell
I hear their frustrations
It sounds like a bell

Day in and Day out
I make somebody elses day
Day in and Day out
It adds to my dismay

And so I sit here still bleary eyed
I mock the monitor with my ways
when the caller has at last dropped off
I reach for Bio break...

Cold Shoulders

Cold Shoulders
(Jan 24 , 2012)
The eyes can only see
What it wants to see
And if things are different
Then so it will be

The ears do not listen
To things that it does not want
It closes and caves
To the pleas of the lost

These arms cannot hold
The heart that you offer
It is to be left unchained
To be alone and its own master.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Wag kang autistic , ayos?"

"Wag kang autistic , ayos?"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Kanina lang eh nagbabasa ako ng isang article tungkol sa autism , ito yung sakit na sinasabing mayayaman lang ang puwedeng magkarun. Akalain mo yun kaya nilang iafford ang sarili nilang mundo! Alam natin na ang mga autistic eh hirap makipagusap at magpakita ng kanilang mga damdamin. Nahihirapan silang makahalubilo sa ibang mga tao , at ito eh di nila sinasadya sapagkat natural na meron silang sakit at kakulangan.

     Ang gusto kong pagusapan eh yung mga taong lumaking normal pero pagkatapos bumili ng MP3 player at isang headphone (Dr. Dre beats daw ang maganda! Class A eh ok na!) eh nagiging autistic na sa pakikipagsalamuha sa mga tao at sa kapaligiran nila. Buong mundo ang apektado dito tsong , yung mga taong naka earphones na naglalakad sa kalye eh di nakakarinig ng mga busina ng kotse ,tapos nagtataka na lang sila kung bakit sila nabundol? Ganun din yung mga nagbibisekleta nang pagkabilis bilis dahil nadala ng musika. Nadala din sila ng musika papunta ng pader at nagiintay ng ambulansya para dalhin sila sa ospital.
Dito sa atin malala na rin ang pagkautistic ng mga tao. Kahit sino ang kasama eh naka headphones pa din. Uuwi ka kasama mga kaibigan mo eh nakaheadphones ka , parang sinabi mo na rin sa kaibigan mo na wag mo akong kausapin kasi wala naman akong pakialam sa sasabihin mo. Mga bata na kumakain sa labas pag Linggo kasama ang mga magulang nila , pansinin na may isang autistic na kasama dito , yung isa na nag e- air guitar at nagheheadbang mag isa habang yung iba eh kumakain at nagkukuwentuhan. Tsong kahit na gaano pa kalupit ang paboritong banda mo eh minsan lang ang oras mo sa pamilya mo , gawin mo ang magalang na bagay at itago mo muna ang headphones at mp3 player mo. Yun lang , kung sa tingin mo eh kupal ang lahat ng miyembro ng pamilya mo o mga magulang mo at walang kuwenta na makipag usap kahit isa sa kanila eh pumasok ka na lang sa sariling mong mundo at sa pag gawa nito eh ginawa mo na ring walang kuwenta at silbi ang sarili mo.

     Masarap makinig sa personal na seleksyon mo ng musika , mapa Pop , J-pop or K-pop pa yan at wala akong pakialam kung ano pinakikinggan mo kasi karapatan mong mamili kung ano gusto mo. Di mo rin masisi ang mga naka earphones na bumibiyahe sa daan kasi sa totoo lang kahit ako ayokong makinig sa mga kabobohang naririnig ka sa radyo at mismong kasama mo sa biyahe. Ilang beses ka bang nakarinig ng “kailangan pa bang imemorize yan?” at “Baaaaaaaaaah” nang paulit paulit o kaya ng “Me ganun?” Kaya di ko talaga masisi. Ok lang yan talaga. Ipreserva mo ang utak mo kasi mas maraming maitutulong yan sa iba.
Ang di lang tama talaga eh yung mga sitwasyon na kailangan mong magsalita at makisama sa mga tao na mahal ka at alam mong mahal mo naman kahit na parang minsan eh gusto mo silang sakalin dahil sa kaibahan nila sa iyo. Bigyan mo kasi ng pagkakataon na makausap ka din , kadalasan sa pagkakaintindihan nawawala ang pangangailangan mong mag isa. Itago mo muna ang Mp3 player mo dahil andiyan lang ang mga kanta pero ang tsansa na gumawa ng magandang ala ala eh ngayon lang. Kaya wag kang autistic , ayos?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The man on the road… March 10, 2009

Its 4am and I’m on the new laptop my dad gave me as a gift for passing the boards( now that is the universe at work , I mean I am suppose to take it this August and sure enough I will pass it , I have the gift from the future to prove it!) . I’m up reviewing again and well , from bringing my wife to her work in Gateway Cubao. Due to Non-DST(daylight saving tanga) her very early 5am schedule has now been moved to 4am which means we have to wake up at 2:30am everyday and I have to drive her by 3am! The trip going to the place was uneventful as I always pictured it but the trip back was another matter. I was nearing the bridge before Trinoma and everybody was happily speeding along with me , when from the distance I saw a man with long disheveled hair , his clothes appeared tattered in a few places. The man was very muscular and big as he lifted his arms in the pose of a savior, as if daring the passing cars to hit him. It’s a credit to everyone driving that time that he wasn’t hit at all. Imagine that we were driving at speeds of 100kph. He did slow up a lot of traffic and he appeared to enjoy himself as he taunted the nearing cars. Oh and did I mention he had a bottle of something on his left hand? The threat was there but he never seemed to hit any of the cars that passed him. The guy seemed to have a death wish as he stood in front of every approaching car, including mine. I saw his face grinning as cars desperately swerved away. I mean what kind of guy would get his kicks this way? I had three things running in my head. The first one is that this guy was drunk , the second was that he might depressed enough to stand there or the third , that he was just plain crazy. I would never know the answer to these speculations though since he was already an afterthought as I sped away on my way home.

Note: This blog is proof that life doesn’t always turn out the way it is supposed to. I am still planning to take the boards and if the world doesn’t end this year then it would be February 2013. Hell or high water!

"Resident Evil Degeneration"

"Resident Evil Degeneration"

     I have recently watched this great CG movie that I am sure will become a cult hit in line with the Resident Evil franchises success. After being disappointed in the direction of the Hollywood version of Resident Evil, most particularly the last movie Apocalypse. The American writers seemed to have confused the resident evil games with another great game, Parasite Eve that is the direction where Alice is going with her powers. Plus the fast Zombies didn’t really make much sense to me; it seemed off from what RE should be.

     Enter Capcom with this great CG movie did I mention it was great before? I believe that this should be the official canon. It is 7 years after the Raccoon City Atrocity and Claire Redfield (in her most babealicious CG incarnation) is an NGO volunteer in charge of protesting WilPharma (the company that is developing vaccines for the T-Virus). You see in this world Umbrella has collapsed and there are no traces of that old organization. After a recent outbreak of the zombies in India and in the airport where Claire Redfield just arrived in they meet up with Leon S. Kennedy who has retained his tough guy image. They are in it for the long haul as they discover that the G-virus (A more lethal strain of the T) still exists.

     The CG in this movie is topnotch. The effects of the TV screens as reporters start talking are really great. The big boss with the big eye in the game is here and thankfully no mention of Nemesis whatsoever. The Japanese writers really got it right. It is non stop action and horror. As wave and wave of zombies emerge. When the big boss monster arrives it sends chills down your spine. The familiar weapons are all there and it makes you nostalgic for the game all over again. The sheer terror from running away from zombies and the excitement are all there. The Hollywood version relied too much on Nemesis as a selling point; it’s like selling just an acre of a lush green forest.

    One of the movies funniest moments was when Claire was forced to use a, get ready for this…an Umbrella to defend herself. She said so herself, “I didn’t see this coming”. If you are a fan of the game then this is the movie you should see. Hopefully they come out with more movies like this soon.


Note: This should have been posted March 6 , 2009. Again for some reason someone decided to delete my friendster account and along with it some of my earlier works. Including the birth of my daughter Aven.

"Pasko sa Ospital"

"Pasko sa Ospital"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

It is now officially Christmas. I am the only intern in the whole hospital and since I don’t want to incur anymore make ups , here I am lounging and catching up on paperwork. You see when you enter the Internal Medicine department you are already 2 months delayed on paperwork. We have no admissions so far and I am really holding my breathe. I don’t even want to mention that word. We do have a few patients on board but all of them seem to be doing their darndest best to keep us all busy. There are 4 of them that have very high blood pressures and it is my duty to watch them every hour. So every hour I get up from my paperwork or reading and I walk the floors. From the 2nd to 4th. As I do this , I silently thank God that I didn’t go to Medical City where 14 floors seems to be way too much for me to walk.
My friend Paul who is the “Resident intern” (aka the guy who lives in the quarters) seems to have gone home for the first time in months and has left me with no one to talk to but myself , which isn’t half bad since I do like myself and I know what topics I would like to talk about and besides I don’t argue with myself. Still it is Christmas and I am all alone. My Mom and siblings are in Odiongan , Romblon for the Holidays and My Dad is in Portland managing his mighty ship making me an orphan in absentia. Stephanie and Aven are at home and seem to be fast asleep after our great Noche Buena feast , the food was sooooo good that I can only describe it this way , I burp and I can still taste it. The Crispy Pata alone probably shortened my lifespan by 5 years , it’s the hallmark of great food. hehehehehe.
The hospital parking lot looks great. I hate a crammed parking lot. The wards should turn off some of their lights theres only a couple of people in there anyway. The mood seems to be jolly as people have more time to chat. Any moment now someone will break out a Nescafe and burst into song. I still hate the idea of spending Christmas in the hospital when a warm bed at home is calling me. Im thankful though that Im not that doctor in the Smart Commercial , my life here is less stressful than his. So Christmas comes and Christmas goes. Im still here. Im still here.

Note: This is a saved Blog that should have been posted December 25 , 2008. Someone deleted my facebook account and some of my earlier works.

"Why playing Magic is like Anime..."

"Why playing Magic is like Anime..."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

So I like Anime and I love playing Magic:The Gathering...I would also love to write for those guys if I can. As I was riding the bus after a very satisfying tournament I realized that there are things that seem to be very similar between these two things...let me expound on that.

#1 Know your enemy by drawing swords...

How many times have we seen a Samurai drawing his Katana and attacking at will? In a flash a hit with another Katana and the dance of swords that follow...they say that to truly know a warrior one must cross swords with that warrior for only in battle will his true character be revealed. Magic is a lot like that , you pair off with an opponent , he is totally unknown to you at the beginning , they either smile politely , draw a blank expression or look really smug at the onset. Then you begin to play , then as turns continue you would realize that they don't talk , reveal way too much with their body language or speech , people can be very honest with their expressions especially when they draw a bad card when they need a removal card instead. As plays go you begin to admire how they approach certain problems and surprise you with techniques that you haven-t seen before , battle tactics , even projecting an aura of calm or in some other cases an overwhelming aura of power most likely from their confidence that they cannot be beat. And when the game ends after one of you emerges the victor you get some sense of what that other player was like , you see their potential , you remember them by the way they play , you talk about them and want to battle them again and they in turn talk about how you beat them or how they won over you. Thus knowing what that warrior truly was about...

#2 Your Enemies become your friends...

Its a fairly common plot really , all you have to remember is that Vegeta and Son Goku in Dragonball Z never started off on the right foot. They were enemies who beat each other almost to the death , Picolo when he was introduced was a baddie who eventually trained Goku's son. In Slamdunk , Miyagi was a badass gangster who caused so much trouble for Shohoku before cutting his hair and turning out to be a 3 point and defense specialist , a real help , a friend. People you meet in Magic are much like that as well. Everyone is an opponent at the beginning but as they turn out they can also become your most potent allies , some warm up to you pretty fast while some take a lot of time to be impressed. These people eventually teach you secret tech , ground you on basics, point out weaknesses in your deck , teach you mental toughness , they loan you cards or even sell cards way lower than you would get anywhere else all because they know they can make you stronger and in turn they can earn a couple of bucks and enjoy greater games with you in the future. Magic as a community has that sense of pride, even territorial at times , pride in arming those in your community or even in your team for like in any other sport or game there will always be people aiming to be the best and in tournaments that means getting a 5-0. Its amazing how even people from other teams help you , even your biggest rivals in certain quests help you out. So don't be daunted if you have no allies at first , keep battling and they will be there...

#3 Only the strong will live...

In Flame of Recca , Recca faced his older brother , Kurenai at the beginning of the season only to be unmercilessly beaten and then let go. Countless Animes have this theme of the insanely strong letting the weak go because they are not worthy of their time, Even Sasuke (from Naruto)  in his search for his brother Itachi , "if you become strong come and seek me." In Magic there will always be a strong player with a very strong deck that seems really unbeatable , even god-like when you first encounter them. You feel like they have ripped your whole deck concept to pieces and shown you how many "openings" you actually have. You encounter decks that are so strong that you just scratch your head later and ask yourself what the hell was that? A player that seemed to have every answer to any of your threats and the answer was always NO. No you will not win and after beating you are let go. You seriously question why you entered the tournament in the first place when all you face are monsters who unrelentingly destroy you at every turn. Like Ippo ( the boxer) said if you never know defeat , you will never improve and Magic is just like that. No one comes into a tourney expecting to come out on top on their first try , that simply doesn't happen , there will always be that one guy who is years beyond your reach and he will stop you.

And if you follow the plot , the main protagonist does not quit , continue to battle and train , prepare to battle that superior villains technique only to be met by another opponent who has something that they have no answer to.

Eventually as your experience grows you won't even notice that you are the one some other players are seeking revenge from , in time you become that one player who stops others from winning and teaching them a valuable lesson. Improvement comes only when you are beaten for only then can your sword be sharpened. You become the test of fire that eventually separates the casual gamers from the rest. You become the test of fire for those who would eventually surpass you.

I kinda enjoy it when things fall into place.Anime and Magic cards. Both worthy of my time.

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Oozing with Ooze"

"Oozing with Ooze"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

I have always been a fan of Ooze! One of the earliest decks I made had one, it was the Primordial ooze and I really wanted to create a mean deck with one but it always had a built in weakness. Some guy with a weak burn spell always spoiled my fun before I could make a monster out of my 1 drop ooze or somebody with terror always clocked it. And well, because of the upkeep cost my ooze actually turns and kills me. You can put +1/+1 counters on it and pay it every upkeep or it turns and smacks you in the head. What a very demanding ooze. It means that you are not allowed to miss a land-drop. If you do then it won’t be long before your ooze and your opponent go hand in hand in beating you. I wonder how people played with this pesky thing in the earlier years of magic.

I still think that the best Ooze to come out in recent years was the Bloodhall Ooze from the Alara Block, It was another one drop and it rewarded you for having a black or green permanent which wasn’t all that hard because Alara block wanted you to play multiple colors and for this type it would be Jund colors. It still had the same problem as the primordial ooze though; it had to survive to your next up where it can grow up to 3/3. A well timed Shock was all it took, and even if the Ooze made it to your upkeep, a lightning bolt (that was still around that time in standard) was there to take care of it. Annoying because it had so much beat down potential and in game where no creature control existed, it actually went to town and never let up. Sigh.

Then came Dark Ascension and the current Ooze of choice. Enter Predatory Ooze; this one had the promise of delivering. Right off the bat, it heralded itself as an indestructible 1/1 creature for 3 green mana, heck it was a mana commitment right from the start but many are still going to play this guy. It is the only non-vampire creature in standard that can grow. It even does it the moment you tap it to attack! It becomes 2/2 the moment it wants to chomp some of your opponents life points and if some hapless creature blocks it and dies it gets another +1/+1 counter on it! It can even trade for an opponent’s 2/2 creature and leave the scene of the carnage even bigger. Weenie armies beware of the Ooze. It will devour you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Heat Rises!

After facing off with the LA Lakers, the Miami Heat has now won 2 straight games after a horrendous 3 game losing streak with D-Wade in the lineup. I guess it was the timing of the whole thing, being a competitor Wade might have wanted to come back early. It resulted in his ankle injury getting worse. He should cool down a bit and let that thing heal because James and Bosh have things under control in the mean time.

The Heat suited up in their Alternative All Black uniforms which allowed the Lakers to don their home uniforms of White and Gold. These made the Heat look a whole lot evil and it was the Overlord Lebron who would lead them with 31 points. It’s ok if they think that the Heat is bad, more legends to scare the minds of the weak. Speaking of legends, James even took a page out of Jordan’s storied past, where the guy was supposed to be so weak after food poisoning but turned out to be such a total demon on the hard court. Lebron was that demon for the Heat. He was taking medication after the game and people thought he needed none of it. People who watched him knew he didn’t need any medication.

With the loss of Wade to the sidelines, Miami has now gotten Mike Miller back who was magnificent in the last game after 6 of 6 shooting from the 3 point area. Eddy Curry is back as well. If the Heat continues winning in this fashion D-Wade will have a long time healing and would have all the steam he needs for the play-offs, the stage where Lebron seems to disappear a lot. Hopefully it won’t be like that this year with a healthy Wade and a supporting cast who know to whom the ball should go down the line. Bosh got it right after all.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"The MD-BPO Bridge"

"The MD-BPO Bridge"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Life has put me in one of those situations. The kind where you have to choose just one path and when you do the path going back will be harder. I am one of those people who have an MD attached to their surnames though I don’t have the license to back it up. I am also one of those people who work in the BPO industry. And I am blessed to have friends in both industries.
Recently I have been reading about doctors complaining that some of those working in the industry are treating them like secretaries because they want them to put in dates for when they were sick. I have also read one person say that they don’t feel like giving out medical certificates people who are just acting really sick. Having been in both industries gives me a unique perspective I believe. Doctors are an overworked bunch and so are people in the BPO industry. That is always a given. Some Doctors have private practice or have associated themselves to the HMO’s like Maxicare and Coco Life just to name a couple. When it comes to Maxicare affiliated doctors or clinics a big bulk of their business now comes from the BPO and Call Center Companies.
At the ER doctors are often annoyed by faux English accent types that accompany their friends and act like that they know what they are talking about especially if they start questioning the doctor’s good judgment. Admittedly not everyone can be pleasant to hear in the call center industry and people tend to speak English in a very outlandish manner despite the best efforts of Communication coaches on the matter.
On the other hand people who work the night shift tend to be mistrusting of doctors , there is a culture of mistrust especially if it is the first time that you would meet someone. The call center agents and TL’s who make the bulk of people who see doctors in Maxicare affiliated clinics usually are really sick , becoming sick or just plain tired of the job. The burn our rate is much faster than people would like to know. 2 years and you would start feeling it. I know what a 36 hour duty means for doctors , call center agents have 8 hours shifts but their job isn’t that easy either. A doctor knows how to deal with cranky , unruly patients , the same applies for people working the phones. A doctor knows politics in play at the hospital , the call center agent knows and experiences it too.
Im writing this because we don’t have to put on airs and it goes for both sides. Ask your doctor nicely if you want something done like a date written or a diagnosis explained and they will gladly do it , tone down on the accent and talk like someone who lives in the Philippines. Drop the English and british accents , it doesn’t impress someone who has probably been there before. For Doctors , let’s be more understanding . There are people who aren’t really sick but burned out by constantly talking to people who have tried to blame them for things that they haven’t done like why is my internet connection not working or why are my bills too high. Believe me , it is stressful enough to talk to people like this in a day in , day out basis , it is even more difficult to deal with all the metrics that you have to meet , you have to perform or you get booted out and that money that you give to your family will be gone in an instant. Doctors and BPO people are all human. Lets just try to understand each other and get along.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Necromancers Bane"

            "Necromancers Bane"

Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

It is nearing a decade now since my Uncle Dick Forlales went to our house and showed something a beginner in Magic: The gathering that will get them totally hooked. He showed us (my brother AJ and me) the potential power that can be had when you turned black and controlled awesome necromancy. I was purely a red mage during that time, destroying and burning things at will with my goblins and burn spells while my brother’s aggressive tendencies pushed him to liking the dominant elves. Our Uncle showed us that concept that night and I knew from there that I was a Necromancer by heart. I love casting things from my graveyard and Innistrad was such a happy place for me as well as when Graveborn came out (I eagerly bought it and had my first chance to use entomb!). In tournaments I still buy necromancy staples though I already have 5 decks that have them in sets. My thinking is that you never know when you are going to need a copy, it might be you were inspired in the middle of the night and you would just get frustrated. So I buy and just keep future frustration at bay hehehe.
Now it seems that with all the Undying and Returning from the graveyard effects in standard Wizards of the coast has decided to throw a wet blanket in my fun. A Nihil Spell bomb is devastating but it has to be well timed, this card however just ruins any necromancer’s fun. It is Grafdigger’s cage. An Artifact at the cost of one generic mana! This artifact stops all of standards efforts for the Undying and all the zombie combos to dominate. Of course this will be a sideboard in all of the tournament level decks when undead and undying alike are threatening to dominate it. It is a check against flashback decks. I am intrigued by one thing it also prevents. Casting cards from the Library. It is a hint, probably of a new mechanic that will appear in Avacyn restored or in the next Block. Hmmmm. The possibilities. Hehehehe. Grafdigger’s cage is the modern Leyline of the void, although the leyline makes sure nothing from the graveyard comes back, this artifact in standard makes sure that everything in the graveyard stays there. No Skaab Ruinator to ruin your day, you can’t think twice with think twice and forbidden alchemy remains a one shot thing. Still there is only black that is several affected by this one drop because most has efficient artifact removal , if they even need it at all. Kessig wolf run decks will scoff at it, Mono black infect won’t mind. It does put Solar flare at a great disadvantage since it likes returning Sun Titans and Phantasmal Images for the big finish. I believe casual players are more affected by this than standard players.

Monday, January 16, 2012

"Mga Abnormal na tao sa MRT"

"Mga Abnormal na tao sa MRT"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Takbuhan at Tulakan. 2 sa mga bagay na ayaw na ayaw ko pag sasakay ako ng MRT. Kilala mo ang mga tao na ito at malamang eh naranasan mo na din ito. Ito yung tipo ng mga tao na tatakbo papunta ng pintuan at kahit nakita na nila na nagkakahirapan nang pumasok dahil siksikan itutulak nila yung mga nasa likuran para umabante. Ano silbi nun? Bakit kailangan mong itulak yung nasa harapan mo? May ADD –HD ka ba at di ka makapaghintay? Malaki ang tren at pag nakapasok na lahat eh siguradong may tatayuan o uupuan ka din! Bakit kailangan mong magtulak? Pusher ka ba? Pusher ka nga. Isang beses may babae nakapostura pa yung nakita ko , dahil sa tulakan nasira ang blusa niya at medyo naging mas exciting yung suot niya , yung abnormal na nakatulak at nakapunit sa damit eh naglakad lang papunta sa gitna ng tren na parang walang nangyari! Feeling niya cool assassin siya!

Ang isa pang napakasarap kasama sa MRT ride mo eh yung taong walang konsepto ng personal space. Kadalasan para na kayong maghahalikan sa sobrang close niyo. Parang kayong magsyota! Feeling mo nagagahasa ka na at mabubuntis sa sobra niyong ka-close. Sa sobrang close niyo eh alam mo na ang inalmusal , merienda , tanghalian at hapunan niya. Kadalasan , ito pa yung mga tao na parang may gripo ng tubig sa bawat butas ng katawan. Tsong di lang bas-kil (basang kili-kili) ang alay niya sa iyo kundi bas-everything. At ito ka naman kakaligo lang papunta ng school or opisina at siya ang nasa likod mo. Ramdam mo ang wetness bro! siya yung tipo ng tao na pag nilagyan ng bimpo ng nanay niya nung bata pa eh di umuubra , kaya tuwalya na pang beach ang ginagamit! Sayang ang ligo mo…binasbasan ka rin niyan ng pawis niya! Sila ang mga Basbasero sa MRT.

May isang lalaki ako na na-observe , sabi niya sa kasama niya na bababa siya sa Ayala. Ayala pa bababa pero andun siya sa gitna ng pinto , para siyang unggoy na nakahawak dun sa area sa taas ng pinto. Ok lang kung siksikan sana eh kaso nga sa sobrang luwang ng train nung araw na yun eh puwede kang magpadebut sa gitna! Puwede kayong magcotillion at magpahanda pa sa gilid! Pero tsong trip lang niya talaga na dun pumuwesto sa gitna ng dadaanan ng mga tao!. Tapos pag nababangga siya ng mga taong bababa o sasakay eh masama kung makatingin na para bang pinatay mo yung alaga niyang Chihuahua. Akalain mo yun! Simula pa Trinoma eh andun siya sa gitna ng daan at natatamaan ng mga taong  papasok at papalabas tapos siya pa ang may ganang magalit! Adik! Yun din ang naisip ko nun eh.Adik na Unggoy sa gitna ng tren.

At ang pinakapaborito ko eh ang mga taong ito na tatawagin nating mga Roadrunner. Meep Meep. Mapapansin mo kung malapit nang bumaba ang isang Roadrunner katulad halimbawa sa Cubao , papalapit na yan sa bungad ng pinto. Tapos makikita mo na parang totoong Roadrunner na nagsi-sway sway ang katawan side to side sa inip nito na bumukas ang pinto , kahit na sabihin mo pang nasa Kalagitnaan ng Edsa yung train eh ganyan ang Roadrunner, inip na inip , parang mga kotse na nag-iistart your engines sa karera ang dating nila . Tapos pag bukas ng mga pintuan ng tren kahit nasa likod pa banda yan eh bubuwelo yan at tatakbo! Kahit na sino ang mabangga niya eh never magsosorry yan…parang kidlat na tatakbo papunta ng exit turnstile na kung saan maghihintay din siya kasi mga isandaang tao lang naman ang nauna sa kaniya. Di ko maintindihan ang mga Road Runner na ito , sabi nga ng kaibigan kong si Patrick Racho , Walang Karera at wala kang premyo kong ikaw ang maunang makalabas. Ano ang point di ba?

Panigurado di lahat ng mga abnormal ay nakita ko na. May bagong species araw araw at ang sigurado eh sa dalas ng ipapamalagi ko sa mga tren eh makakasalubong ko din sila. 

The Undying: Deadlier the second time around

The Undying: Deadlier the second time around
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Since Innistrad is a plane that has featured a lot of Graveyard shenanigans we expected more of the same in the next expansion and Wizards of the coast has not failed to deliver in that department. Enter the Undying Mechanic, Simply put the mechanic allows a creature to come back to the battlefield after it dies, provided that it doesn’t have a +1/+1 counter on it. If it does come back then it gets +1+1. This means that death really has a weak hold on the creatures of Innistrad. The biggest threat so far in the previews is the mythical rare insect called Vorapede. At the cost of 3 Green mana and 2 Colorless it isn’t that hard to cast especially in a dedicated mono green ramp deck. The stats clock in at 5/6; it has vigilance and trample plus the all dangerous Undying Mechanic. Players must be wary that this monstrosity only gets bigger after you kill it. It comes to defend or beat you down a second time and you might not survive from it. It is good with other Innistrad mechanics like Morbid and with other undying creatures. I would really love to have Sheoldred on the Battle field returning this insect again and again for the major pain it can cause to opposing players. Life points aren’t all that high when it come rampaging around on turn 4 or 5. You can be rest assured that people will be packing in lots of removal to make sure this thing doesn’t come back. But if you do the math there are basically only 2 instant killers that will do the trick in standard. One is go for the Throat and Doom blade. If you pack in 8 of these it won’t be too bad but consider that there are other creatures that have the undying mechanic coming in for the 2nd expansion like Strangle root geist and Mikaeus the unhallowed and whatever else lies there yet unrevealed. The Undying mechanic will cause a lot of headaches in tournaments for years to come. It’s basically the meaner cousin of persist and it has a lot of potential in sealed formats.

Mikaeus the Unhallowed: Just the guy you need to guide the undead

"Lets go have a brain party!"

"Mikaeus the Unhallowed: Just the guy you need to guide the undead"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

     Uh-oh…it seems somebody has just that died and came back as a Zombie! Brains. This one has a lot of hate for humans in his zombie form. Mikaeus the Lunarch has now joined the ranks of the undead along with his holy robes and powers , well make those unholy powers now that he is Mikaeus the unhallowed , a product of Liliana Vess(Batteries not included). This version of the Innistrad Holy man has a lot of abilities befitting a legendary creature , it has intimidate which means other than black and artifact creatures nobody can stop it from smashing your opponents face in the late game.

     Any Human that attacks you gets destroyed. It also pumps your other Non-humans with a +1/+1 counter and gives them the Undying ability. They can come back from the dead stronger. If you have a zombie who just died like a Diregraf ghoul it comes back as a 3/3 creature and with Mikaeus in play it becomes 4/4! That’s a whole lot of beat down right there. It also turns every one of your guys into mean zombies in mechanic but not in creature type.

"Admit it...you only love me for my Sword"
     Just what the world of Innistrad needs at the moment, meaner zombies! This particular card is interesting because the original card already gives +1/+1 counters to creatures you control when you tap it , much like what Steel Overseer did for artifacts. You could have both of them in play and they can see each other like when you play the mighty dragon Rorix Bladewing and Bladewing the Risen. Undeath causes a lot of interesting interactions for magic. Characters in it see their past or future selves like in this case.

    In the case of Mikaeus his reemergence as a zombie spells like a great way to explore a white/black control deck with the Living Mikaeus pumping creatures early and then the Late Mikaeus (because he is dead and can be cast late in the game!) can make sure that everyone of your guys can survive a Day of Judgment or Black Suns Zenith. With the undying mechanic they even come back a whole lot stronger with a +1/+1 counter on them. You better get ready with a lot of dice and paper those +1/+1 counters will keep on piling with these 2 guys in play. Just cannot wait to add this to a zombie deck that is already creeping with so much power. The dead seems poised to inherit the plane of Innistrad.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bob Ong’s Little Pink book

Bob Ong’s Little Pink book
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

I have now acquired the new book(a gift from my wife) from Bob Ong entitled "Lumayo ka nga sa akin"...the title is funny and interesting but reading it in public is going to be more interesting. At first glance it looks like one of those romantic novellas that have catch phrases like “ikaw lang ang sa akin” or “ mahal kita pero…”. It will certainly diminish the pa-cool factor that some people get while reading these books. It’s a pink book complete with the heart borders on the front and back as well as hearts in the mold of the cheap romance novels that pervade our land. I didn’t want to touch it the first time I saw it because it reminded me so much of one of my aunts collections. But then it was Bob Ong and I was interested in what he got into this time around. The last book was scary because I have an imagination on me and I really hated the big Santo's in old houses. This one proves to be scarier still. You would have to read in public and weather the stares of people who are thinking you are some romantic nut or just someone who has lost all senses and got into these kinds of books or even have your man card revoked or maybe have a little bit of the true Piolo Pascual in you. I don’t think Bob Ong meant it to be as such but it certainly challenges your pa-coolness factor. I have managed to read the first few pages and I cannot help but smile. This ought to be a very interesting book. I am going to read this in public too. I don't care. I would just have to smack a few people if they want to take to take my man card.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Bend the knee , your Lord Returns…"

"Bend the knee , your Lord Returns…"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Sorin Markov is back. Back to his home plane of Innistrad and he isn’t too happy about what has been going in his absence. The humans are being overrun by monsters on all sides and the sentinel which he has put in place as the protector of his realm has gone missing. I’m excited to speculate what Avacyn would be like when she finally gets her own card in Avacyn restored, the last angel that was also created by a magic character was Akroma, Angel of Wrath and she turned out pretty good. I wonder what she would be like but Avacyn aside Sorin Markov will be coming in to the second expansion as a leaner, easier to cast planeswalker, if you are playing dual colors of black and white. There will be a lot of control decks that will be bringing in the Lord of Innistrad himself into play , vampire decks might get a boon from him , his first planeswalker ability is to create a 1/1 vampire with lifelink. It could be a blocker early if you don’t have a creature in play to make sure good ol Markov will survive the next few turns. Or if you already have several creatures on the battle field you can already use his second ability. It gives you an unremovable emblem that says all your creatures get +1/0. A very great offensive boost if you are out to finish your opponent early or if the opportunity has presented itself for a beat down. Sorin Markov is versatile in this regard if you have a pretty offensive mindset when you play him otherwise his advantage is lost. Another thing is that his final ability, the flavorful “create more minions” skill, allows you to destroy up to 3 target creatures or planeswalkers and put them on your side of the battle field. Imagine having Liliana and Karn on your side as the game progresses or even wiping out 3 of the biggest creatures on the table and having them for yourself to finish off your opponent in the next turn. The control part of Sorins ability is good for the end game and before he actually gets to it, it would mean that you have at least 3 vampires already on the field. Yup, I never did like vampires before but I would sure as hell won’t pass up to play Sorin when I can.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Miami Heat: Tempering my Enthusiasm

The Miami Heat: Tempering my Enthusiasm
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

As I write this the Miami Heat has just fallen to 8-2 in the NBA standings after a defeat in the hands of the Golden State Warriors in over time. Overall this spoils the return of Dwayne Wade after he missed 3 games with a sore foot. He had a monster game with 34 points but it seems his return will have some meshing problems with a unit that has won 3 straight games without him. Does this mean that they shouldn’t be playing Wade just yet and should have just stuck with the current starting lineup? Some people might argue that this might not bode well for the team because of chemistry issues but you just can’t sideline one the best players in the game when he can contribute right? It will spell better offense down the line for the Miami Heat with Wade in the lineup and then the naysayers can just keep on grumbling about something else. I am excited about this season especially with the early showing of Lebron James who seems to have found that dominant player inside of him and just let him play. Though the heat still sits atop the standings with their good record I am tempering my enthusiasm because Lebron has been the Choke King for all the finals that he has been in regardless of the supporting cast around him. I find it highly suspicious that he turns to this unstoppable beast on the court every game and then becomes meek as a lamb during the last lap of the season. The play offs is still the place where I want to see Lebron dunking over guys and dishing out assists to a cutting Wade or Bosh for one of those steady perimeter jumpers that he has. I will cheer them on as they clobber guys left and right with their league leading scoring and consistency but I am holding my breath until I see the last second dwindling on the shot clock on the last game of the NBA finals and see the confetti come down from the rafters and only if the Heat Manage to win it all this season.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Gathering the townsfolk for a weenie beatdown..."

"Gathering the townsfolk for a weenie beatdown..."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

     Here is a white card for the price of one mana and one colorless which gives you 2 human tokens or with the new Dark Ascension Mechanic Fateful hour it gives you a total of 5 human tokens , all you have to do is be at 5 life or less and in magic nowadays that’s not so hard to achieve. Aside from the great creatures that can beat you down to 5 or less in standard, you also have the phyrexian mana mechanic that can help dwindle your life total. It is an exciting card that is worth watching.
     Now life gain decks seems to have weakened lately after the rotation of staple pieces like essence and soul warden but incomes Suture priest who at 2 mana maybe a bit slower but has the added effect of life gain per creature that enters the battle field and the loss of life when your opponent has a creature enter their side. Now imagine if you have 2 of these in play and you play this sorcery. Gather the Townsfolk would net you 10 life points! And that’s half of your life total right there. Add at least one intangible virtue in the mix that gives +1/+1 to all your creature tokens and you have 10 points of damage ready to attack next turn or can stop the beat down that has reduced your life to 5. It might seem like a slower version of raise the alarm but this card at 2 mana has the potential to be a great finisher in limited and should be an early favorite in the sealed tournaments of the pre-release. Thraben Doomsayer that gives a bonus of +2/+2 to all other creatures you control when its fateful hour mechanic steps in is sure to be one combo that will be exploited once it hits standard in February. I am looking forward to a little white weenie beat down party soon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

"Mercurial shot!"

Mercurial Shot
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Just the other day somebody shot a syringe filled with Mercury though his arm. Some people reading this might be doing the double face smack. People with half the common sense already know that putting anything foreign in your body is already bad news but this guy just had to shoot himself with mercury. The troubling part is not in the act itself but with the way he defended it. He said that his father told him that it would make him “Maliksi” or quick. Come on now. Nobody became Quick Silver (the marvel counterpart of flash) or the Silver Surfer for that matter by ingesting or in this case shooting a syringe full or mercury through their arm. I tell you what would happen though; it’s something quick, a quick death if not treated quickly. The liver won’t be able to filter that much liquid metal in the system and would begin to breakdown as well.

It is sad that people in this day and age are still uninformed about the hazards that mercury can cause. Surely someone must have at least seen or read the news about how mercury is poisoning our streams from the mines. At least they must have heard it from someone and should have taken the advice to heart. So if it isn't the lack of education then it is just that some people will do anything. Even it means shooting down a syringe full of Mercury for gain. Whatever he wanted to gain may it be sexual prowess by being quick or the ability to rob a bank what he got is the short end of the stick. Something that he chose for himself.

"Creepy Crawling in the Dark with Zombies…"

"I am back...."
Creepy Crawling in the Dark with Zombies…
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

     So it has begun…The Dark Ascension Spoilers are among us. There are now officially 13 spoiled cards. Wizards of the coast have been really tight on how they have managed to control any leaks of the products this time. I believe they don’t want this to be a New Phyrexia. Fans of the game can only drool in anticipation and talk to each other about rumors over the holiday. Now we see some of the cards that we would be playing in the pre-release and it is a very exciting time again.

     There are several cards that are great out there but 2 of the exciting cards are Grave Crawler and Zombie Apocalypse with that being said people now know what monster tribe I have chosen to foster. Yup no team Edward (vampire) or team Jacob (werewolves) or team Ghostbusters (geists) for me. Let me deal with dead guts and things that love me for my brain. (Even if they just want to eat it.)

"Zooooombie Apocalypse!!!!"

   While Black has always had a slew of creature removal and mass removal effects this black sorcery has the addition of a win condition. In some ways Zombie Apocalypse is a weaker version of Living Death. It has certain weaknesses, it cost one more mana to cast, the creatures it summons from the graveyard aren’t tapped and it should be zombies. It is also limited to when you are fighting humans in the standard format. Human decks like the Gavony tokenators are pretty strong right now and will gain more momentum with additional key cards from this set.

      I guess Zombie Apocalypse is an answer to that particular type of deck and even if faced with the other creature tribes there are still strong zombies that can instantly help you once it gets back into play like the Skin Render who always wants to share a few -1/-1 counters around, with 4 of these popping on the table at the same time it’s a massacre or the Unbreathing Hordes that are virtually unburnable and can finish off the opponent on the next turn. I will give this card a try as soon as it is available just to say its name as I summon it. Zooooombie Apocalypse! Then I’m going to turn on my plants vs. Zombie ring tone for effect.

    Another card that catches my fancy is something that Liliana Vess hints at creating herself. It’s the Grave Crawler and hooboy is it an ugly one and it literally crawls too, it’s tough being a zombie with no legs. The resiliency of this thing reminds me of Bloodghast and you can be sure that it’s going to be used in a lot of Morbid shenanigans in limited. Haven’t seen much of the morbid mechanic yet but there are a couple that are interesting. Imagine the flexibility of a creature from the grave yard, an instant offensive threat when you have other zombies crawling along with it. You could imagine that this would be a great combo piece with Zombie Apocalypse. The swing is just going to be too much.

Well that’s enough of Zombies for now. Back to the real world.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Listening to Bolas..."

"Power! Power shall be yours!!!
"Listening to Bolas..."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

The other day a dragon talked to me. His name was Nicol Bolas. His name sounded girly to me and it reminded me of Tom Cruises ex-wife but this dragon was nothing like that sexy beast, he was a different beast altogether and he was speaking to me. He told me to build a deck , he told me this as a voice inside my head , now normally I would ignore voices in my head because they always claim to be someone else like being a prophet or something but this dragon ( who was a voice in my head at that time ) had a lot of pretty solid ideas.

He said build me a tri-colored deck and we will vanquish your enemies and conquer the multiverse together. Now I usually can't conquer anything much less the multiverse but I have been getting pretty good at playing Magic cards and Nicol Bolas happened to be one of my latest acquisitions and as it turns out he was acquiring me , much like he did with Sarkhan and Tezzeret. I remember it now, how easily my friend gave me this Planeswalker, he of the colors of Grixis, red and blue and black. Many people are daunted to play the scheming dragon but if they listened like I did the dragon would find a way for you.

Nicol Bolas Whispers Deck

4 X Dragonskull Summit
4 X Crumbling Necropolis
4 X Drowned Catacomb
3 X Tainted Isle
6 X Swamps
21 Lands

1 X Nicol Bolas
3 X Jace Beleren
3 X Liliana Vess
1 X Chandra Nalaar
8 Planeswalkers

4 X Rotting Rots
4 X Liliana's Specter
4 X Mind Shrieker
1 X Sheoldred , The Whispering One
1 X Szadek
1 X Nemesis of Reason
1 X Krederekt Leviathan
16 Creatures

2 X Traumatize
2 X Haunting Echoes
2 X Breakthrough
3 X Diabolic Tutor
4 X Counter Spell
2 X Zombify
15 Spells

So like a mad scientist I went to my room, there the tomes where great magic was bound (read as 4 pocket binders with 4 copies of a magic card neatly tucked in). My tomes were high as I believe myself a man who can afford what he wants ( especially if they were selling it at a much lower price than the ones in starcitygames.com)…So there I was listening and on my way to building a tri-colored deck…I have always been a necromancer by 2nd nature , my first nature was that of a Fire Mage that burns everything that can be seen , so the dragon played on that , it would be a mill deck that can destroy an opponent by unmercifully picking at his mind ( his library) , whittling it away until there was none left or it can be stand up beat down with an assortment of creatures from different planes.

"It sucks to mill a land..."
Another Planeswalker was added to the mix in the form of Jace Beleren , he would be another muscle in this tri-colored piece and since this would be an experiment in utility , there would be singleton copies of various cards , Sheoldred the Phyrexian praetor that allowed you to summon directly from the graveyard , Szadek , a merciless vampire who milled you , Nemesis of Reason , that did the same only 10 cards at a time per attack, then a copy of Mindshrieker , the bird spirit that allowed you to fill your graveyard and make it bigger in the process almost for a lethal attack each time you paid for its ability as the deck was made to hold several large mana requiring behemoths like the aforementioned creatures . Imagine revealing four 8 mana costing creatures and spells in a row and its goodbye to your opponent.!!!

"Huh?What am I doing here?"

The dragon made sure that there was plenty of control, hand disruption like Rotting Rats and Liliana's Specters were in attendance, card drawers in Breakthrough and Tutoring effects in Diabolic tutor. It was not the perfect fit but Nicol Bolas was happy and with this deck I set off to duel and vanquish my enemies, who are not really my enemies because they are my friends and afterwards we would actually rave about the great ideas that were incorporated into making the deck. Nicol Bolas just won’t listen. He calls it vanquishing foes. I call it having a great time.

     After playing with it though, it was just really good that it can win and win convincingly after a beat down or a mill especially when Nicol Bolas and Jace would play together. It was straight up mill and disruption until no viable threats can be ascertained either by an empty hand or a dwindling library. Nicol Bolas is still flexing his muscles after his victories. Me, I’m just tired from having so much fun.