Friday, June 28, 2013

“Pizza Pie Ng Lipunan”

“Pizza Pie Ng Lipunan”
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Pumapatak ang pawis ng magsasaka
Nauubos ang lakas sa kanyang paggawa
Pumapatak ang luha ng mga dukha
Sila , sila na inagawan ng lupa

Umaalingawnagaw ang mga sigaw
Sa mga puso ito ay pumupukaw
Panaghoy ng kahirapan
Sana’y malapit ng tugunan

Tumatakbo ang bata mula sa pulisya
Nireregaluhan para magdala ng droga
Tumatakbo ang metro ng sobrang bilis
Sa loob ng taxi ng tsuper na madungis

Sumasangsang ang hangin sa siyudad
Napupuno ng mga itim na tanim at namumukadkad
At iisa lamang ang tanong
Kailan sasagutin ang mga panaghoy?

Sumasakit ang puso ng mga nasalanta
Hubot-hubad ang mga bata at gutom pa
Sumasakit ang bulsa ng estudyante sa siyudad
Walang-wala na nga  tumaas pa ang tuition sa unibersidad

Lalong nababaon sa kadiliman
Hanggang hindi na kita ang kaila-ilaliman
Itong mga suliranin na bumabagabag
Mga lason na pumapayagpag

“Bomba sa Manila”

“Bomba sa Manila”
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Sasakay ng LRT si lolo
Pinaupo sa dulo
Mababait na mga tao

Sasakay si  Miss Maganda
Isang tingin lang
Pauupuin rin niya

Ang hindi nakita
Nakabalot sa supot na pula
At nang mapuna
Ay huli na

Sumabog na lang ng kanya
Ang bomba ng dusa
Hindi nakokonsensiya
Hindi naaawa…
Hindi naaawa…
Hindi naaawa…


Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Cradled by her love I rose
Cradled by her love I chose
A life that I wanted
A life that I had grown

Caressed by her words
Caressed by her moans
I closed my eyes
I face the unknown.

“Sit Now In Misery"

“Sit Now In Misery"


Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

I sit now in this dark place
Contemplating…my mistakes.
I sit here and praying
To forgive me for this sin

I wonder how soon
The drug would take effect
To make a me a murderer
Of the highest edict

And so I felt it rumbling
Contracting and I start whimpering
Afraid for my co workers to hear
What has been transpiring here

And I took him in my hands
A little child while he could not see
I held him as I knew he died
Long before I could see his angel smile

And so I still sit with my bloodied hands
And my never ending tears
From pain in my heart
And the pain in my mind
My heart cries out
And my soul laments my loss

I have lost so much today
I have lost my mortal soul.

“ The Missing 7th ”

“ The Missing 7th
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

The Angel of Tragedy flew
And landed on the city where I lived
And wells of life giving water swelled
Only this time it choked the souls of the living
And took them forcefully to the abyss

The Angel of Death flew
And landed on the grave of him who was king
And hands broke forth from the ground seeking the sun
Only this time they were less mortal
With a look of crazed frenzy in their eyes

The Angel of Violence flew
Into the chaos of a mob and silenced the force of the blows
So that each hurt went unheard
And each stab was unminded
Until everyone was less than mortal
And fell to the ground

The Angel of Lust flew
And landed on the hearts  of everyone
So that they gave in to the passions they had often hid
And in doing saw that goodness was in there hearts
That they had a lust to do good to other men
And to other women as well
And all took turns

The Angel of  Doubt
Had settled and watched the show
But saw that battles were now less fought
That all that men do was meaningless
And that they were crying
They were weeping at the very thought of what they were doing

And so
The Angel of Guilt arose
Which made man take his sword and plunging it to the heart that had led him astray
And as they saw the morning come
Their life draining
Their souls straining
They saw that all was well again
And that the angels were no more.


Thursday, June 27, 2013


Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

A Broken Bone
A Broken Sould
That's where I was
My principles were sold

A Broken Heart
A Broken Mind
Gone in an instant
Gone in a flash

Shattered pieces
Shattered glass
Stuck right here
Looping in the past

Another Morning
Another Day
Another Chance
to throw it all away...

"Garruk, Caller of Beasts:Unleashing the Beasts of War"

"Garruk, Caller of Beasts:Unleashing the Beasts of War"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Aside from reanimation there are other ways to get  really big creatures unto the battlefield earlier than they should be. 

I always loved Worldspine Wurm because it is just way to abusive when you are able to summon it or when it leaves play.What I have found though is that when you include it in an EDH deck even with mana ramp , it does not necessarily mean that I can get the chance to playit. It normally just ends up in my hand as my opponents cast more mana efficient creatures. It got to a point that I had to cut it from my deck.

I vowed to make a deck with Quick Silver Amulet and Elvish Piper to have my Wurm back. As I was tinkering with the idea I was happy to see this new planeswalker that would help me immensely in the direction that I wanted go.

Enter Garruk , Caller of Beasts. I doubt that he will just be calling beasts. Wurms and a whole slew of huge green creatures are now mere -3 loyalty counters away. 

At 4 Colorless mana and 2 Green mana cost many have seen Garruk as a hard cast or a bit slow...of course people need to be reminded that anything with green in it doesn't normally wait for the 6th turn to drop a 6th land or to cast anything for 6 mana. There is enough mana ramp in the early turns (especially in the EDH setting) to sucessfully cast the Caller of Beasts.Along with a lot of Stones and Runes in the current EDH and Standard settings then you could have the new Garruk entering at around turn 3 or 4.

Turn 1: Forest and Birds of Paradise
Turn 2: Forest , tap 2 lands , Talisman , tap Talisman to cast llanowar elf
Turn 3: Forest...6 mana available...cast Garruk , Caller of Beasts and hope it does not get countered...

Looking at his first skill (1- loyalty counter) which is an improved version of Commune with Nature , a deck full of creatures will benefit from it immensely. Add the existing Domri Rade into this mix and you have a handful of creatures already at hand even before Garruk steps into the mix.You might just want to use him to call one of the beasts in your hand into play. In my case I hope to already have a creature that can blow something up like the Woodfall primus or Terastodon!

With his ultimate skill costing -7 loyalty counters you get an Emblem and a Tooth and Nail effect.When you cast a creature even those at one measly mana you could now search for a monster and put it on the battlefield as well. And if you have been able to collect a handful of one or two drops in your hand then chances are you would now end up with your killer combination. Imagine casting a Llanowar elf and then having a choice of any of the titans or the primordials now coming into play on your side!!!

The skills all tie in , you have creatures in your hand , you have the skill to put them on the battlefield and then if you could wait for around 3 more turns...unless Doubling season is also in play then you have a lot of creatures entering your side of the field.

A lot of creatures that hopefully your enemies would not be able to deal with and you know that you are going to press in for offensive the following turn assuming of course that you do not have an Urabrask or Fervor already in play.

So this is it for today. I can't wait to get my hands on this card.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"The Azorius Arsenal"

"The Azorius Arsenal"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

As a magic player I never liked Control. My style of play tends to be on the less constrained side. Control is the way to go though if you want to be successful in the top tier competitions. Well it was not my dream to be sucessful in the upper echelons of magic competition. My dream is to come up with deck concepts that are crazy , concepts that might not win all the time but when they do bring a smile to your face because you knew that no one would willingly say that this deck concept will work or would be hard to admit that they got beaten with it.

So back to control , The guild that represents it the most in Return to Ravnica is the Azorius. Being Blue and White gives it access to all sorts of spells that will break your opponents tempo , thwart any short and long term plans or just really put a cramp on their collective attacking style.

The Azorius were given the Detain Mechanic. A mechanic that states that Until your next turn target creature an opponent controls cannot attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated. I have been looking at Azorius removal spells and they have the best of what White and Blue has to offer. Spot Removal using Bounce or Exiling creatures. Detain only works once unless it is the Enchantment Martial Law that Detains each upkeep but this mechanic alone is enough to ensure that Azorius creatures will be able to deal damage and prevent damage all at the same time. 

It seems like an overkill to give spot or mass removal to a guild that effectively stops a creature in its tracks but Magic still gave these do-gooders effective cards like Detention Sphere and Supreme Verdict. Supreme Verdict being uncounterable and Detention Sphere which is a stronger version of Oblivion Ring. Creatures of the same name on the battlefield are exiled. In standard that takes away 2 or 3 threats. In EDH that takes away the Massive swarm Of Relentless Rats and Shadow borne Apostles (in the future).

"Good bye tokens!!!"

Lavinia of the Tenth is another headache as she she becomes a mass Detain spell upon her arrival on the board. Anything below 3 mana cost will be Detained. Which means that all tokens and weenie creatures are frozen in time and with great timing Azorius creatures can swoop in for the kill unopposed.And if you need to cast Lavinia a 2nd or 3rd time there is always space for an Angel of Restoration or Deputy of Acquittals. This abusive cycle also applies to other Azorius creatures that also have the Comes into play ability of Detain like the Lyev SkyKnight or Soul Sworn spirit.

Facing this guild is frustrating because they also have access to counters. They can say no to what you are planning. They can disrupt anything that you have on the board. The moment you cast it they can say No. If it lands on the board , they can detain your creature to death and then bounce it back to your hand when it can no longer be detained. Azorius can also just out right destroy everything on the board. Total control in all aspects of the game once they are able to set up. All you need to do now is beat them with speed or control as well. If your deck lacks these then good luck. You really are going to need it. 

Sure and steady. Never panicking as they cream you with creatures. The Azorius has surely gotten the love at their end of the color pie. 

"Magic: The Expensive"

Magic: The Expensive
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

For those thinking of starting on the Magic Path. Think before you act because like most Hobbies this could turn out to be very addictive and expensive.

Of course the main draw of the game is the game play and the essentially expensive part are the cards. However those drawn into the game will soon develop a warped sense of what is important. 

First, I would like to talk about the non expensive accesories that you should have. Then lets get progressively more expensive.

The first thing to have is protection for your mint condition cards. (People usually ask if you paid for the Smacker or Non-Smacker price , you don't always need to answer for the sake of your honor.)Normal Magic Sleeves can range from about 125 to 160 pesos per 50 pieces.There are some who sell used sleeves but that should be bought with warning because these can affect your shuffle. You might be laughing about that but wait till you play and you draw 5 land cards in succession because your key cards are bunched up in the bottom of your deck due to a defective card sleeve or a sticky one.

So for a standard deck of 60 cards and 15 card side board you are looking at 250 for a 100 piece card sleeves priced at 125 pesos per 50 pieces. Some players also want double protection so they buy perfect sleeves. These thin clear plastic sleeves fit Magic cards like a glove so that they do not move inside the Outer thicker Sleeves. The prices are variable as well. 

You would also need a deck box because you need something to put your cards in to protect them from being damaged or pilfered. Imagine bringing a 60 card deck on a public transport or putting them in your bag for the ride. Chances are you might lose some pieces or worse damage them when you sit on them. The deck boxes are usually plastic , leather or Tin. The tin ones are very durable and prices usually start at P250. 

The next expensive item on the list is the playmat. Depending on what is printed on them the prices can range from 500 to 1200. Playmats that can only be won in special events like Game Days fetch higher prices due to their limited availability. Still there will always be playmats available as long as you can pay for it. It really is expensive just to prevent your sleeves from sitcking to each other (which playing in dirty surfaces can do). The big difference can be seen when you start playing better and drawing cards more consistently after using it since they are no longer clumping with each other at the bottom of your deck. Players usually don't mind the expense when they start winning. 

Players who have favorite or pet decks can also upgrade parts or the whole deck as well. Lands can be upgraded to full Art lands such as the Unhinged or Zendikar lands.They could also update to all Foil lands.Red and Black have readily available foil lands because of the lands from GraveBorn and Fire and Lightning Premium decks. 

Players could also update their favorite cards to foil versions or Foreign Language versions.  
With the popularity of Altered Art cards this can also be an option. All cards can now look like anything as long as 1) you have the original card and 2) you have the money to burn. One of my friends updated his Kaalia to full art mode to the tune of P450. Some art may even be more expensive because your card is now one of a kind. In great Magic:The Gathering events like GP Manila you might see several players sport all foil decks and all you could do is whistle at it  because they had the money to burn for it. 

Of course all of these things are optional. It really is up to you. There is no shame in playing the game with a "Plastic ng yelo" or clear plastic sleeves that can be bought for P35 or less than a dollar per 100 pieces or having just normal cards (they are expensive as they are). Most players don't mind. They are in it for the game and the bling is just an added bonus.

So with this little glimpse of what you might become in the future the question that begs to be asked...Are you ready to play now?

"The Ghost by the bed"

"The Ghost by the bed"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

During my 1st year of High school I was chosen to represent my school to the YMCA Hi-Y Conference which was to be held in Teachers Camp in Baguio City. 

Now Teachers camp has been known to be a very haunted place but I did not know it during those times. I think my seniors knew but they were not about to share it with me. 

The first day was great because there were so many things to do , so many people to meet. I think I caught a bug from someone because during the evening sessions or lectures I began to have a fever and I had to excuse myself. I went to our designated Male quarters. I covered myself with my blanket and shivered alone. I had my back turned from the door. I closed the lights.

I think it was an hour or so when someone entered the room. I was awakened and saw that it was my friend Jonathan who was wearing a grey sweater and Khaki pants lie down on the bed next to mine. His back was turned from me and I jus under the weather toorest as well. I went back to sleep.

I was then awakened by the sound of laughter. I tried to look at the people opening the door and there was Jonathan looking quite well and laughing with out friends. I looked at the bed where he was supposed to be sleeping and there was no one there. I told them about this. No one slept on that bed again for the duration of our trip.

"The Haunted Quarters"

"The Haunted Quarters"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

While I was rotating under the Department of ENT during the 4th year of Medical school I was assigned to stay at the Junior Intern's(JI) Quarters at the far end of the hospital. It was a totally different place because people don't normally go there. They told me that this was the old hospital and like in all hospitals a lot of deaths occurred here.It was normal to assume that restless spirits still lived there.

The room that I was staying in was unusually warm despite having windows , despite the cold december air that was blowing outside. The moment you stepped inside the room it was like entering a furnace.

One weird incident happened when I , along with 3 other JI's stepped in to discuss our schedules for the upcoming holidays. We were barely a few seconds inside the room when we felt what seemed like a physical presence that seemed to crush our chests.All of us felt this and it was so unbearable that we had to step out of the room. The pressure stopped and we were able to discuss our schedules. We just thought that we were all just stressed out and did not give any particular meaning to the experience.

During those times , ENT duties were usually benigh (Light load) and unlike in other departments the JI's could stay in the quarters during duties to catch up on reading or even rest.
I was about to settle for the night when the double deck I was lying on started shaking. Mildly at first which I ignored but the shaking grew progressively worse. It almost felt like an earthquake only the only thing that was shaking was the bed. I sat up and put my feet on the floor to make sure that it was not just me moving about and shaking the bed. The shaking stopped. (I later confirmed that there was indeed no  earthquakes during that time. 

It was then that I felt something cold hold both of my feet. I was not able to see anything but the chill was unmistakable.

I did not know what to,  do at this point so I just said calmly "Please po patulugin niyo ako kasi marami pa akong gagawin bukas ( please let me sleep because I still have a lot of things to do tomorrow)...The cold presence withdraw. The shaking also stopped for the rest of the night. I still go there from time to time and I still feel the spirits who linger there.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"If Superman became a Zombie..."

"If Superman became a Zombie..."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

One of my friends in Facebook posted this particular question one day and I was intrigued by the possibiity. Of course it is preposterous to think of this scenario but there exists the possibility that this indeed may happen. A World War Z cross over perhaps? Now that both Man of Steel and World War Z are currently showing in theaters I really cannot help but wonder.

Point of Infection:

Given that he could reach any part of the world and assist in any crisis should he choose to do so there might be a time that he might be exposed to a Zombie virus.

I have said in an earlier post that Superman would not be infected by a bite or direct injection of this virus because he is invulnerable. The only way he could be infected is by the way of bodily fluids getting into his mouth or eyes. (He should wear goggles!)

Once Superman does get infected there might be a way for his Kryptonian DNA to respond however even if the Big Boy Scout's immune system is different I still believe that the Zombie virus will get him.

Global Threat: Extincion Level

Any way you look at it. Once Superman changes it will only be a matter of time before the end comes for us. Based on metabolic needs Superman would need to consume more humans than any other zombie in history.

Humans usually survive Zombie Attacks by driving away or hiding. How can you run away from a zombie who could actually fly toward you faster than a speeding bullet?  He could traverse Oceans and Miles and Miles of land like it were nothing. The answer is that No, you cannot outrun a Zombie superman.

How can you hide from a zombie who probably has the best sense of hearing? Or who can use x-ray vision to find you?(if it still works) He would even have the strenght to pry open underground bunkers should the need arise. The answer is you cannot hide from a Zombie superman.

In life the only way to defeat him was kryptonite.Since this is a rare substance  , most governments would have it under lock and key.It is therefore safe to assume that the common man would not have access to Kryptonite so they can counter
act an Undead superman.

So in closing ,A flying zombie who's appetite will go beyond any known boundaries. We all know what that means. He would simply spell the extinction of Humanity as we know it. Plain and simple. Surrender to the Man of Steel. Death will be much quicker.

"World War Z: Zombietastic"

"World War Z: Zombietastic"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

The Plot:

We step into the shoes of UN Agent Gerry Lane who is tasked in aiding a doctor to find a cure for the growing zombie pandemic. We join him in an international zombie gorefest as he raises to find an answer for the sake of mankind.

Spoiler Alert...Just a little...You have been warned...

The Good:

- Mankind vs. Zombies , after being over loaded by the Humans Vs. Humans theme of The Walking Dead it was actually nice to see Massive Hordes of Fast striking zombies chomping down on humans.

- There was a trip to South Korea...and there were no K-pop stars that greeted them...I hope the cute ladies got away...the guys who look like ladies, I hope the zombies got them...

- The Panic in the streets sequence...

- The Eerie Apartment sequence...Great lighting...

- The whole South Korea sequence...

- The whole Israel Sequence...

"Leaping Zombies Batman!!!, Robin said before Batman slapped him in the face"
- The plane sequence...A Hole in the side of my plane...just how I want to spend my vacation...take note of Gerry Lane's hair here...

- All through out this movie is really great Lighting...I liked the motion activated lights of the B-Wing...

- Zombie Dormant and Active modes...

- Zombie Immunity as discovered by Gerry Lane...Awesome...Zombies pass through you...Human Ghost mode...

-All the running...looks good but it made me tired ...

The Bad:

- That rotating Zombie in the lab that Lane and company had to pass through...made it seem like a video game somehow...

- Israels defensive walls that enclosed the city but oddly had no perimeter guns on top of them...

"See what I mean?"

- When Gerry Lane injected himself from a cocktail of deadly infectious diseases...he didn't even break into a fever!!!

- Now that I think about it who funds the WHO vaccine program? They were giving it out for air drop service too...that stuff is expensive...

- Gerry Lane cut off an Israeli female soldiers hand...without seeing any cautery equipment...and torniquets just won't hold that kind of bleed...she must have one hell of a clotting factor...she wasn't bleeding all over the place!

The Ugly:

-The Doctor who seemed very interesting when he pointed out his theories accidentally shoots himself and dies early in the story...what?
That was a real face palm moment there...


I know that they already have a contract for the trilogy of this movie and I am really looking forward to the sequels...The humans just found out an advantage in the war against the Z's but that does not mean that things will be easy...

Monday, June 17, 2013

"EDH Battles:When The Police make a Grab"

"Me like . Me grab..."

"EDH Battles:When The Police make a Grab"
Virgilio F.De leon Jr.

In playing EDH games there are times when players are hesistant to play with Control players( Blue Mages, Azorius , Simic, Dimir or Izzet) because the game tends to ground to a halt and like in basketball the 1st and 2nd quarters do not matter because it is in the 3rd and 4th quarters that all the marbles are being played for. All the moves come out in the final draws.In the local scene control players are called Police. They police every move and if its not to their liking they say no.

The End game defines the control players moves and I didn't want to be in such a drawn out game because the decks I built were very aggressive by nature. 

"Running big creatures?  Beware..."

However  , I still found myself in a 4 player battle with Aya's Augustine Deck , Ed's Azami deck and Mr.Commander Time Garry's Sygg , Merfolk deck. I was running a Mirko Vosk Dimir deck that was already milling away the early turns with A Nemesis of Reason that managed to slip into play. I was kidding that even though I was playing what looked like a control deck it was still pretty aggressive with the attacks.

The early turns consisted of trying to figure out who would counter what so I got into contemplating strategies for the win. Some of them seemed like far off strategies too , but I liked it.

My strategy with my Dimir deck is to mill my opponents and Reanimate their best creatures with Chainers or Geth. However , I still love the awesomeness that Consuming Abberation brings to the table. Since I mill everyone's brain all at the same time and I get to have the biggest monster on the board.

Now one thing that is a common thread to all control decks is that there will always be a means to copy the best creature on the board like Clone or the tasty Rites of Replication (with Kick) whom if partnered with a Terastodon would produce one hell of an Elephant party. So it was fairly common to find that my Consuming Aberration was also being copied by Ed with a Cryptoplasm each upkeep.We were milling but Aya and Garry were moving more cards to the graveyard.

Once I draw Grisly Spectacle I knew that Ed copying my Consuming Aberration was a mistake because if I eliminate his copy he would have to mill about a 100 cards and it would end the game for him. However Ed was able to Overload a Cyclonic rift which ended my plans.

It was in the End game that I was again caught by surprise. After tapping all my mana and casting Consuming Aberration and Evil Twin (Copying COnsuming Aberration) I was happy to have creatures that had at least 200 power between them. I was not so thrilled when they went to Ed's side and killed me for that 200 power in one sweep due to an instant speed Reins of Power. I looked at the Grisly Spectacle in my Hand. I was not able to use it. Why should I be so greedy? Maybe next time I can mill someone to death with it. Maybe that time I will be ready. 

"Rules Update: Legend Killers No More"

"So now there can be two of art is better though"

"Rules Update: Legend Killers No More"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

Rule Changes are a part of playing the game and in my lifetime I have seen the legendary rule change twice. It can be summed up like this:

-You have a legend in play , another player cannot play the same legend.

-You have a Legend in play and when this Legend is copied or another Legend with the same play comes into play , both of them see each other and they  "explode". Both go to the Graveyard. 

The New rule however states that:

- You have a Legend , your opponent can have the same legend on his side of the battlefield.Both can exist as long as you both don't control the same Legend. However you could play a Legend with the same name and among those you control choose which to keep in play.

The biggest repercussion is that the mirror matches with other Legends will not kill them. Cards like Phantasmal Image , Evil Twin , Phyrexian Metamorph and Clone will no longer be Legend killers. Their prices are expected to drop long before this rule takes effect but dont expect it to be on the bargain bin levels because this bunch are still very effective Utility creatures that could copy threats and defend when needed. Especially the Phyrexian Metamorh.

On the other side of the prize zone though expect Planeswalker cards ( which are also affected by this Legend/Uniqueness rule) to rise in Value since players would be more encouraged to play them.Hence a rise in their demand but not neccesarily in their supply.

"I am still copying stuff..."

One of the greatest advantages of this new Legendary Rule is that if your Legend is incapacitated by a Pillory of the Sleepless you could actually plop another copy of the Legend , sacrifice the useless one and have all the effects of your Legend as well as an able body to Block when needed. It doesn't leave your battlefield totally empty or in the case of Teysa , Envoy of Ghosts you can destroy the creatures that she cannot block and get tokens for each creature destroyed this way. 

Change is not always good especially if you have expensive cards in stock that would plummet in value but if its any indication Wizards of the Coast is preparing a lot of Legends in the M14 Core Set and the next expansion of Theros. We would all just have to wait and see now. 


Thanks to the Awesome art of Genzoman - Akroma looks great....

"The Lady of the Mansion"

"The Lady of the Mansion"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

When I was in my first year of College in UP College Baguio I stayed at a room that faced a Mansion. This was the one that faced the Legarda Mansion in Legarda Road. It was a nice looking mansion and from my window I could see the care takers private vegetable garden.It was a well kept one and even had a low hanging fence. The end of the garden was a sheer cliff that sloped a good 20 or 30 feet. From time to time the Old Man who took care of the mansion would wave at me as he took care of his veggies.

 One particular afternoon I was fixing my things when I turned to look at the Garden. There was someone there. From the distance she looked like a woman. She was all in white. A classical appearance of a White Lady. I thought someone was making a prank. So I kept on fixing the things on my table. The next time I looked the lady who also had flowing black hair was walking towards me. She was walking past the garden and was now a few steps from the cliff edge. I thought the joke would end there and she would wave at me and maybe smile as acknowledgement of the fact that I looked freaked out.

I was surprised that she kept on walking until she was actually floating over the cliff and still moving towards me in a purposeful way. I had to shut my curtains because there was actually a ghost floating out there.I was a bit scared but I was also very curious.Was my mind playing tricks on me? Was that Ghost still out there? I had to know. So I decided to open my curtains on the count of 3. 1...2...3...

And when I opened the curtains aside the Lady was still there. Hanging in the air. Still moving slowly toward me.It was like a scene in those horror movies. Only this one was really happening in front of me. I knew that curtains don't stop Ghosts when they want to enter a room but like an irrational kid I just closed the curtains again. Plopped down to bed and covered myself in the warm comforter that I had...I sleeped though there was still light. And I never opened my curtains for about a week.

I never knew why the Lady decided to show herself that day nor why she did not go inside my room when she could have...I'm hoping to never know. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"EDH battles: The Elvish Champion that got away"

"I am right here....Hit me!!!!"
"EDH battles: The Elvish Champion that got away"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

"Threat assessment" are two words that I have heard countless times from my friend ST in a recent EDH debacle. Just goes to show that you can take a man out of teaching but the the teacher still remains. Coming in Sleepy headed or even a bit lazy in checking out an opponents board position really was my own fault. This story shows that even in a multiplayer game full of politics one's mind should always stay focused and continue to reevaluate moves as they happen. 

ST , After plopping down a Sire of Insanity and upon ending his turn took my good hand , including the Life's Finale that could have controlled the board. I must admit that that move did mess up my tempo and just sort of let things happen.Unable to recover , I made the mistake of destroying The Sire of Insanity with the Putrefy that I just drawed out of Frustration.

I failed to notice that to the North (Left and North actually) an Elvish army was gathering and their Elvish Champion , escaping the sure Assasination from my hands , their controller probably breathed a sigh of relief that I was not able to see. It was another 2 turns before the Forest Walking Pumped Up Elves attacked me in numbers unopposed.

Among the 5 of us it was only ST who did not have a forest and had the great fighting chance to beat the Elvish Marauders and since I was in the position of weakness with no creature dominance or removal to speak of it was only normal that I became the target for elimination. I really did invite those elves on my side of the table as well as the growing Simic Monster Army on my left run by Robert.Sometimes it doesn't pay to be the most aggressive player in the group but I can't help it because SkullBriar was made to run Early to Mid.

Another lesson learned though and something that should make me focus more ( No looking at binders while playing too hahahahha)
All of this because I failed to notice the Lone Elvish Champion that was waving his mighty bow in the air. Boooo. There would be other battles...More Threats to assess , more alliances to form , more weapons to use. The Battles will continue. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

"Blood Moon Rising"

"Blood Moon Rising"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

       The Card Blood Moon has been the staple of many red decks. Most of them are Goblin Decks that take advantage of the opponents mountains to enable Mountain walking Goblins to crash through for the win.

     I have had a copy of this 3 mana cost enchantment since the 8th edition and lately I bought a mint condition one for 20 pesos or 50 cents. I figure that it won't be in use as much but now that I think about it the guy who sold me the card severely undervalued it or had a very bad memory from it that he sold it to me that cheaply.

     Blood Moon along with Magus of the Moon( which has the same casting cost) has become relevant again not just because they can make Goblins unblockable in the EDH setting. They can both cripple an opponents mana base.Severely cripple it. Serious EDH players usually run dual or triple colored decks and would have a whole slew of non basic lands so that they could fix their mana. The annoying thing is that all of these become mountains and hence turn out to be colorless mana. Crippling if they need it to cast multi colored spells like Charms and their color specific creatures. Fetch lands are useless  because they won't be able to activate their abilities. 

     It is painful not to be able to use your Cavern of Souls , Boseiju or Hall of the Bandit Lord.Even the much valued Mutavault (which returns in M14) , Blinkmoth Nexus (currently in Modern Masters) and Inkmoth Nexus (still around from Scars of Mirrodin) . Dark Depths becomes just another mountain with no hope of summoning such a wonderful monster. Blood moon nullifies all these strategies.  

     The card is also reprinted in Modern Masters propelling it to almost 10 dollars! 400 pesos in the local scene because it is sure to mess up the serious players mana base the moment it comes into the battlefield. Of course in both modern and EDH there are ways to counter this and the amount of basic lands a player has may be able to counter act it as well. However  with it in play expect it to lock in a lot of non-basic lands to the annoyance of most of your play group mates. Expect a lot of enchantment removal the next time you play.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"Into the Wilds: Baloth Style"

"We need to talk buddy..."
"Into the Wilds: Baloth Style"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

     My Rampaging Baloths talked to me the other day. They were threatening to trample me if I didn't get Into The Wilds the moment it comes out. I looked it up now and I can see why my Rampaging Baloths want it. It's like that time that they talked me into asking for my friend June Bhryan's Oracle of Muldaya. I have an inkling as to what it is and it is about Landfall.

     Yup the Rampaging Baloths do enjoy Landfall very much since it gives more and more 4/4 Beast tokens with each land drop.I love it too because a lot of 4/4 Beasts mean a lot of 4/4 token beatdowns.

     Now on to the card. Into the Wilds is a 4 mana costing enchantment that has 1 green mana in it which means that it is perfect to splash into multi colored decks that want to ramp up the mana. Golgari, Simic, Gruul or Selesnya decks will enjoy this enchantment. Incidentally Oracle of Muldaya share the same mana cost which would also be perfect for splashing and mana ramping.

    Imagine having a Rampaging Baloths in play and you have Into the Wilds and an Oracle of Muldaya to go with it. You have 2 potential land drops from you library along with your normal 1 land drop per turn. Now imagine that the 3 lands that you were able to play were Fetch lands. This would net you a total of Six 4/4 Beast tokens!!! And that is called living the Landfall dream.Along with the 6/6 Rampaging Baloths you already have you are looking at 30 points of potential damage on the next turn.

"Say it with me: Triuuuuuuumph of the Hooooooooooooooordes!!!!!!"
     An attack and an Overrun (which would give them a +3/+3 and trample each) would end your opponents life with 48 damage if the beasts go unopposed. Or a Triumph of the Hordes would allow you to win with Infect should you decide to use it.It really is up to you.Either way this is the End in Modern or EDH formats.

     Every turn would net you at least 3 4/4 Beast tokens so as you can see even if the Baloths are stopped by blockers initially you are adding in more creatures than your opponents can counter or take care of. I hate math but when you you actually do it , at the rate of 3 creatures per turn it won't be long until The Rampaging Baloths and its brood do the kind of damage that would let your opponent concede or scoop his cards from the overwhelming odds.

Well this is it for today.Keep on brewing and listening to your cards should they decide to talk to you.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Outbreak Day 7: Adam and Eve Part 3 (Conclusion)

Outbreak Day 7: Adam and Eve Part 3 (Conclusion)
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Eve was unconscious.So how come she knew she was falling? She was feeling the wind on her skin as she descended farther and farther. She heard the moans of the dead getting louder and louder .Then the fall ended.

There was a wet crunching sound as Eve fell on several zombies at the foot of the Lighthouse. There was no reaction from the Shamblers but when they sensed that Eve was something else they began to converge on her.

Waking up with a mass of these things was not the kind of thing that normal people wanted. At first 
Eve was disoriented but when she opened her eyes to see that she was being bitten all over her black armor she instinctively reached out for the weapons that she had concealed among the sturdy bite proof armor.2 Black Carbon-bladed Swords lashed out into the night decapitating 5 Zombies in two strokes. Eve shoved the bodies that fell on her  with the hilt of her swords and was able to get up where 2 more swings killed 5 more of these biters. The things did not even react as they fell to pieces on the ground. She had cleared all threats in her immediate area.

Eve suddenly remembered what happened and looked up to the Lighthouse to see Adam waving at her. She felt her anger rising  , she knew what he was up to.She dropped her swords and clutched her chest , her heart was pounding so fast that it was like a wild animal that was trying to get out of her rib cage. This was a synthetic Adrenaline that Adam helped develop.He dosed her with this during one of their vacations. 

She had made love to him for 3 days straight. It was wild and uninhibited. She also began to suspect that he was also using her for some experiment which he admitted on the end of the 3rd day. He said that it was the lowest dose that he could have given her. She didn't understand how she could have been so understanding of him but she was.She understood that for him to use this he must have calculated that the odds were really against them.She wanted to prove him wrong.

The pounding in her chest seemed to radiate to every part of her , her arms and legs felt like they would burst as well. An absurd thought came to her mind, this must be how Popeye feels after eating a can of spinach.She burst out laughing.

"if you are done thinking about Popeye, you could look up here"Adam said through the transmitter embedded in her ear. Eve did so and did not mention the pains coursing through her body.

She saw Adam nod and point towards on of the D7 mutations. The Eye as he called it was looking directly at Eve , with all of its eyes. Eve took control of her body , relaxed her beating heart and picked up her swords. From the corner of her eye she saw a blur and slightly turned to her left. The bony spines of the Land Shark missed her by an inch. The next one jumped toward her from the back and she instinctively ducked to see several feet of bony fins go by her head. The attacks would be fast and relentless. Unfortunately for this creatures she was more.

She felt an invisible wave assaulting her was sending her feelings of fear , longing and sadness. Feelings that would normally paralyze a person , The Eye was probing her mind and sending her images of the dead and dying. The look on the eyes of those that she unmercifully killed , the children , the elderly , every shred of repressed memory that was brought about by her violent nature. Eve felt tears running down her cheeks uncontrollably but she held her swords firmly. Adam had told her once that certain animals would prevent being attacked by sending certain scents to deter predators. This particular D7 mutant was using her mind to deter her. It succeeded for a couple of seconds. One of the Landsharks had come too close for comfort. One of the fins grazed her armor. These black armors were made to be tougher than diamonds yet the fin took an inch off the plating over her shoulders. A little bit more and it could have been her arm. This has got to stop.

"Aim for The Eye , the others will stop you but that is exactly what I need" Adam spoke directly to the implanted radio in her ear." And be careful of the Faceless One's they haven't moved yet and they seem to be protecting The Eye."

"They better make this worth my time." Eve said over the radio. Her heart was still pounding but it was a rhythm that she was more familiar with.Her mind was still being assaulted by the D7 monster called the Eye. She remembered her training. Pain makes her focus.Pain is her friend. And like a friend she  also wants to share it to others. 

"Eve , you know where to hit these things right? If they cannot move they are not much of a threat to you." Adam continued in her ear. 

She saw the 2 Land Sharks coming toward her in a crisscross pattern , each swerving on each others tail like a coiled monster. She was ready now , the shot that Adam gave her had made her focus more and she flexed her knee as if bracing for impact. She held her swords out , both hands extended. The Sharks were merely 15 feet from her now. 12...10 feet...8 feet... It was then that Eve launched herself , with a burst of speed that could rip the tendons off any common sprinter. She met the 2 monsters head on. She slid past the 2 gaping jaws that threatened to engulf her. and her carbon tipped swords connected with the dorsal fins that they used to skitter about on the ground. A split second later , unable to balance themselves or stop the 2 Sharks began to roll uncontrollably , their ventral fins cutting any undead in their path. Their momentum carried them toward the thick Light house walls where they both crashed head on. Eve heard the painful sounding crack and she turned around to watch as one slid down to the ground , leaving a thick smear of fresh blood on the wall. The other was curling in on itself , unable to comprehend the loss of limbs on his right side.

"That is the problem with these things tapping into primitive forms", Adam explained in a bored tone to his wife , "Regeneration is less likely to occur. It seems like a big strain to reach to the past. I'm going to take care of the surviving Shark , keep a sharp eye for the Faceless one's"

Not sooner had Adam said it that Eve felt the first blow from the Faceless Twins. The first blows were to her shoulders. She felt that without the armor , they would have broken her bones. The pain was so sharp that she dropped her left sword. The speed of these things were incredible. She knew though that if she took out one the odds would be greatly raised in her favor. However the barrage of punches continued and blocking was all she could at the moment. She tried to roll backward only to be met with punches to her back and chest. 

These guys don't just have speed , they are able to match her movements and predict where she is going ,she thought to herself. Then they just don't need to know where I am going to be. Eve noticed a row of buildings to her right.One of the buildings had a narrow alleyway that would only permit the entrance of one person. In the same burst of speed she timed her somersault to go to that building. Fighting two of these things were just plainly too much. She was surprised when one of them grabbed her hand and flung her to the ground.They knew what she was planning to do. It had to be something else. The pummeling continued and she knew that if she didn't do anything then she would end up dead. 

"Hold still Eve ,it's The Eye , it's coordinating this attack , those things are like it's puppet."

'What now then?" Eve asked calmly , as if she was not being assaulted.

"Keep those guys busy."

"I don't think I have much of choice now do I?" Eve replied flatly.


When Eve started fighting the Landsharks , Adam was already climbing down one side of the Lighthouse. He was now creeping silently toward The Eye ,he noticed that though it had several limbs at the base of its plump body , it was not moving at all. It was content to direct attacks and stay where it was. He had a suspicion but kept it to himself. He had to help Eve first. He could see her a few feet away on her knees blocking the Faceless One's. The blows looked painful  but He knew that Eve would not cry out.

All the Eyes were directed at her, it was a shame really. When Adam approached from the back,one small eye at the back opened and spotted him. The long limbs that he saw tried to grab him but it was too late. He threw a piece of Rock at the Little Girls head that seemed to be this monsters weakness. The Eye turned toward him and for a moment lost control of her puppets. He saw Eve roll toward the narrow alleyway of a building nearby , the Faceless One's followed her. 

The Eye now stood on multiple spindly legs and focused on him. It was trying to collapse his mind by overloading it with information.Adam wanted to know everything as a child and this monster was sending him all the information , that his brain was beginning to crack. Adam fell to his knees and cried out in pain.

Eve heard his husband in so much pain. It was her first instinct to protect him. She wanted to run towards him. To make his pain go away but he knew that he had to deal with her enemies first.

She was able to reach the narrow alleyway. And as she predicted only one of the things could follow her. She was not able to see the other one and this made her adjust. He had to draw the one following her deeper. After a few more feet of running she was ready to take her stand. She had a good look at this being now. Its face blurred by blood. Its naked form glistening as the light from the Tesla coils illuminated it in flashes.It just stood there looking at her. She made the first move.

She dashed past her pursuer and swung her sword out. She was rewarded with the solid sound of two arms falling to the ground. She looked at the severed limbs which blackened and remained motionless. When she looked at the creature however limbs were already beginning to grow. She was calculating the speed  , she had counted until 10 and it was halfway done when the 2nd Faceless tried to punch her on the left side of her head. She barely blocked it in time. She knew that with their strength she could have been decapitated. While the other one was still growing its limbs it had run toward its twin in parallel. She was facing them at opposite ends now. She knew that she could not evade them both. The arms of the one in front of her have regenerated. She knew that this would be the final attack. If all of their body parts would regenerate then she knew how to defeat them. 

She heard the twins moved toward her in perfect unison. She crouched low and as they were about to hit her jumped and flipped towards the one behind her. In mid air she had positioned her sword to jab the Faceless head at the back.Just as the twins collided and had no time to turn she jabbed the Carbon Edged Sword with all her might impaling both Faceless Heads. The One facing her tried to reach her but failed. Both D7 mutations would not be able to fall sideways so fell on their knees , connected in death as they were in life.

She thought of how idiotic these mutations were , they were regenerating everything else except for their face which meant that they would never be able to survive being hit there. 

Eve jumped over the Faceless Twins and went toward where Adam was still screaming.


The pain was unbearable and Adam continued to clutch his head.The Eye was above him now and the base of its body opened to reveal a gaping mouth full of serrated teeth. It's spindly legs were lowering it on its helpless victim slowly. It seemed to feed on his terror.

Eve saw all this from a distance and she knew that 
there was nothing that she could do even with her speed.Adam would be dead.

The Eye knew hunger and it knew that there was nothing that could stop it from devouring its prey. Its mouth was salivating in anticipation. It would be a fine meal. It kept on lowering its mouth.The terror it felt was from it's prey was exquisite.

Adam knew it was coming. The things mouth was mere inches away.He could feel it's breathe. His body was unable to move. His mind felt like it was on fire. It was only with his strong will that he was able to move. With the sharp teeth about to bite into his head , he jabbed with the Syringe he was holding in his hand to one of the Eyes spindly legs. The Golden fluid emptied on the injection site and boils instantly began to form. The boils spread upwards on the swollen body. Each eye that the boil passed exploded in different hues of Red until it finally reached the Little Girls head at the top. There was an anguished cry before the head exploded. Adam rolled to his right and into safety still clutching his throbbing head as the 9th D7 mutation crumpled to the dirt. Eve running toward him was the last thing he saw before the darkness claimed him.


"Adam? Adam?" It was her voice. He wanted to sleep.He want to keep his eyes closed. He still felt like a truck had hit him.Twice. "Wake up Adam. We still have work to do." It was really her. Eve.

Adam opened his eyes to see her bloodied , concerned face staring at him.

"Did the last D7 appear?" 

"I think so." Eve said. "But you better take a good look at this first."

Adam heard the cries before he even stood up.It was a baby. A strong cry that was out of place in all this carnage. He saw a throng of about 20 or 30 Zombies milling at one spot. It was perfect acircle. No one was coming in and at the center was a naked baby.A baby boy crying with his strong lungs for all those who would listen.

"So what do we do now?" Eve said as she slashed a path toward the child and stepped through the D7 circle that it created for her and Adam."

"We wait for the support team,Adam said almost breathlessly. "This might be what everyone has been waiting for all these years."

"This thing might change into something nasty at any time" Eve said sounding more excited than concerned.

"I'm not really worried because you still have all that Adrenaline in you."

Eve remembered how annoyed she was with what Adam did and give him a playful smack at the back of his head.

Adam kept on grinning.

The child continued crying , unmindful of the harsh world around it. 


Writers Note:
It took me some time to finish this short story but it was well worth it. I do hope that you enjoyed the series and I look forward to any comments that you might be leaving me.Thank you for reading and have a great day.
For Part 1

For Part 2