Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Oblivion Sower:Mana Siphoning like a boss!"

"Oblivion Sower: Mana Siphoning like a boss!"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Since Battle for Zendikar has been announced a couple of months back there have been much speculation as to who will represent the deadly Eldrazi brood in the upcoming Zendikar Vs. Eldrazi duel deck that will come out less than a month from now.August 28 , 2015 to be exact.

Many have theorized that it might be a reprint of the Eldrazi It that Betrays since the Big 3(Emrakul , Kozilek and Ulamog) has already been reprinted in Modern Masters and further printings would certainly lessen the prices of these particular hot cards. Though I honestly wished that It the Betrays would be reprinted I kind of hoped that I would be seeing a new card and I was happy when Wizards of the Coast decided to show this new card.

Oblivion Sower. A new kind of Eldrazi and it seems that the new line of these monstrosities are not content in annihilating just your permanents. They now also target your library and what is even worse is that they get to exploit the Lands that are sent to exile by anything.

Most magic players know that Zendikar is a mana rich plane and it would make sense that there would be a lot of ways to ramp up in the lands department but this is the first time that an Eldrazi creature would be able to manipulate a library and then manipulate the aether by siphoning off any land cards that happen to be there.

This mythic rare cost 6 colorless mana which makes it available to any of the magic colors and their different strategies. Having a 5/8 frame means that it will be sticking around for awhile and could handle the worst of attackers or could be a mean attacker by itself. Just exactly how I like my Eldrazi.

Now going to the Enters the Battlefield ability of this new Eldrazi , When you cast Oblivion Sower , you get to choose an opponent and he or she exiles the top 4 cards of his or her library.Then you may put any number of Land Cards that player owns from exile onto the battlefield under your control.

Wow is all I could say about this card. Let us dissect the text on the card for a moment. When you cast Oblivion Sower... All this means is that you need to have used mana in order to put this creature onto the battlefield. This negates reanimation shenanigans or it being cheated into play via Aether vial or Elvish Piper. You could still use those cards but it would not trigger it's ETB ability. Insert giant frown here.

Not to worry though since there are a lot of ways to ramp up in the current EDH scene and 6 mana seems like nothing even in the Standard setting. So when you are able to cast it , you choose an opponent who then exiles the top 4 cards of his or her library.

Now comes the fun part. You get to put those exiled lands in play under your control. Since the wording is that you may put any number of Land cards that player owns from exile onto the battlefield under your control it means that there might be an ability or spells in Battle for Zendikar that exiles Land Cards. Another thing is that you could potentially exile 4 Land cards and get 4 land cards that you could use readily. Notice that it did not say comes into play tapped and you potentially could use those 4 particular mana! Plus any other lands that would be in that specific players Exile zone! Talk about a Land Vacuum! It makes me wonder how things would turn out but this card might be a great fit for cards that love exiling things from the graveyard like decks with Hedonistic Trove,Tormods Crypt or Leyline of the Void!.

Sadistic Sacrament is also one card that would help in exiling 15 land cards if it is kicked.(Would we see a reprint in Battle of Znedikar?) Nightveil Spectre or Circu , Dimir Lobotomist would also love to help in the exiling department. This card would also make a lot of Delve players uneasy since their advantage comes from exiling things from the graveyard and yes that involves lands.Lands that would be available for the Oblivion Sower to siphon off from the Exile zone and be used to ramp mana to power out even nastier creatures from the new Eldrazi line.

I can't wait to see this in action! I can't wait to see what other kinds of Eldrazi would be creeping their way out of Zendikar. Would we see the return of the Annihilator mechanic or would it be replaced by a far more deadlier one. For now the speculation continues.And in Magic even the speculating is fun.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Tiny Leaders: Anafenza and the Fallen"

"Tiny Leaders: Anafenza and the Fallen"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

This is the first time that I would be writing about a Tiny leaders deck. A cool format that in my mind is a Mini-Commander/Mini-EDH format. I am happy with this particular format because this time it allows you to use your lower costed cards to create a 50 card deck.

My first deck was easy because I already had Varolz and my Relentless Rats with me. So it just took a little tweaking so to speak. Balthor the Defiled isn't really happy with almost all of his army going from his commander deck going to a Tiny Leaders deck but heck the particular oddity of the Relentless Rats was something that I wanted to explore in the new format.

This article however is regarding  my second Tiny Leaders deck because I had to wait for its particular commander to come out.You could say that I waited a thousand years for her to die and then live again so that she could be Anafenza , Kin Tree Spirit.

This is Anafenza and the Fallen. A Dedicated Soldier deck(which also has some other creatures that are not Soldiers but Fall just the same).I once told my friends that I wanted to make a Soldier deck that I would call the fallen , however these soldiers seem like a mighty tough bunch and could take care of opponents with an efficiency that rivals those of White Knights that are the more well known cards in weenie decks. 

Anafenza, Kin Tree Spirit was my chosen commander for this deck because of the Bolster 1(look for the creature with least toughness and put a +1/+1 counter on it.) she gives when another non-token creature lands on your side of the battlefield.

The lands are cheap because they are mainly basic plains and believe me there is nothing fancy about my mana producers. Evolving wilds to just thin out the deck and secluded Steppe for that extra draw when you already have too much land. The Flooded Strand is not to show off , I just happened to have one that wasn't being used in any deck.

17 Plains
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Secluded Steppe
1 Flooded Strand(kasi may extra ako na pakalat kalat)

Enlightened Tutor

Spear of Heliod
Honor of the Pure
Glorious Anthem
Intangible Virtue
Adaptive Automaton(choosing Soldiers of course!)

Spot Removal:
Path to Exile

Mass Removal:
Martial Coup

Spot removal creature:
Fiend Hunter
Banisher Priest
Court Street Denizen

Token Producer:
Shrine of Loyal Legions
White Sun's Zenith
Raise the Alarm
Herald of Anafenza

One of my all time favorites , Court Street Denizen makes an appearance in this deck to make your one on one opponents life miserable since every creature that you play would mean tapping a creature on the opposite side of the battlefield. Yup and then you get to chip at their life total at will even if you are not using big creatures. I mean a constant stream of weenie damage suddenly amounts to something very big and with just 25 life points every single bit of damage counts.

Glorious Anthem, Crusade , Honor of the Pure and Spear of Heliod all cost 3 mana or less and makes all your 1/1 creatures all the more tougher and meaner. Having all of them in play means that your 1/1 becomes a 5/5. Even just two of them in play will be enough to turn the tide of battle in your favor.

Martial Coup actually feels like cheating in this deck since you get to deal with your opponents army while leaving 5 Soldier tokens on your side of the board coupled with enablers like Spear of Heliod it is decidedly one sided(in your favor of course).

One of the oddities of this deck is the fact that while it has Anafenza , Kin Tree Spirit as its commander this is at its core a token filled deck. Anafenza doesn't look at token decks to bolster but in a setting(Tiny Leaders) where even one aggressive attacker could end the game in an instant it is important to have a lot of bodies clogging up the battlefield. All of these are white creatures mind you and could be a target for Anafenzas bolster ability.The whole deck is really built to attack and defend. 

There are still a lot of things to work through with this deck but I am confident that with the right balance of spot removal(tapping and instant spells) and a whole bunch of tokens this kind of deck could swarm through with its numbers and enablers for a win.

"Priest of the Blood Rite:Like A Splicer...Splicing for the very first time."

"Priest of the Blood Rite:Like A Splicer...Splicing for the very first time."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

It seems like Black has been getting a lot of loving lately and most of the cards that I would want to have are in this color. One card in paticular doesnt seem to generate enough buzz and that is Priest of the Blood Rite. A 5 to cast 2/2 creature that allows you to have a 5/5 demon token creature with flying unto the battlefield. This guy actually reminds me of the Splicers from the Scars of Mirrodin block. I would take a 5/5 Flying demon over a golem any day though. So of course my thoughts turn on how to abuse this guy for fun and profit.

1) Priest of the Blood Rite + Mimic Vat

The first thing that came to mind was this , imprinting it on a Mimic Vat. Since the token it produces does not actually go away when it dies you are still left with a tough 5/5 creature on the battlefield and when you activate the mimic vat at the end of your turn you get the 2/2 Priest and another 5/5 Demon token. 

All in all this is 12 points of damage on the upcoming turn. Then on the opponents next turn you could activate the mimic vat again to have yet another priest and another token which adds up to 17 points of damage. Granted that this strategy is powerful it is more of a mid to late game plan. The early part of this particular deck means a lot of early hand disruption via discard or very mean creature control.I don't think will have any problem in that regard.

2) Priest of the Blood Rite + Alesha , Who Smiles at death

Another great way to cheat the card into play is with Alesha. This one could actually work in Standard and since Alesha only cares about power 2 creatures the Priest of the Blood Rite is an ideal target and fits in her color scheme as well.So assuming that you already have the Priest of the Blood Rite in your graveyard you could pay 2 mana in any combination of black or white and then get it on the battlefield attacking with Alesha. Opponents would then have the choice of blocking it and then having it come into play again on your next attack. The really cool thing is that even if it dies you still have a 5/5 Demon as a blocker and another attacker on the next turn. Abusive!

3) Priest of the Blood Rite  + Gift of Immortality + Nantuko Husk

With Nantuko Husk being reprinted in Magic Origins we now have another sacrifice outlet for the Priest of the Blood Rite and with the Aura Gift of Immortality we could be producing a lot of 5/5 Demon Flying tokens. 

Simply put you enchant the Priest of the Blood Rite with the Gift of Immortality and sacrfice it to the Nantuko Husk. The Priest Returns instantly and gives you another 5/5 token. Wait for the end of your turn to have the Gift of Immortality return and enchant the Priest again. This particular combo is also impressive on your opponents turn since you could sacrifice the priest instantly and give yourself an extra blocker when it comes back into play. 

Given that the combo is not fool proof and a well aimed Ultimate Price could mess up your plans , it would still be impressive to pull off. Plus 5/5 creatures are always welcome on your side of the board right?

Oh and I would also like to add here that Blink effects that exile the Priest would work just as well. An example would be the Restoration Angel or if you want to play Blue/Black in EDH you might as well Soulbound it to a Deadeye Navigator for Multiple Activations for a much cheaper price.

Well that is all for today. Have fun. Keep on Splicing.

Monday, July 20, 2015

"The MRT games"

"The MRT games"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Yes for local commuters here in Manila the MRT has been the sight of so much strife , so much suffering and you don't even have to be inside the train station to feel it! Yup standing in line under the blistering sun is enough to whittle away at your sanity.

So I was looking at the long lines one day and I realized that we could market this as a tourist attraction. Something like the MRT experience or better yet , THE MRT GAMES. Something different for the 1st world country folks.I even came up with a few ideas regarding it.Some of the sights to see and experience.

1) The Uncertainty of trains...

Will the train actually stop? will the train be here on time? will the train work only to stop? Our trains would keep you guessing. Currently there less and less working trains to go around and pick up people. Some of these trains have been put through so much load that they just break down on their own. So that there will always be a delay somewhere along the tracks. Most probably our foreign visitors who are so used to efficient running trains in their own countries might get a kick out of the very unique experience of our own transit system.

2) The uncertainty of turnstiles...

One moment it lights up green , happily eating stored value cards...the next it has some red X on it like someone stabbed it! 
And lucky you . the next person who should have been the next to enter now have to transfer to another ever lenghtening line...

Yup , it is quite annoying when the person in front of you in the turnstile helplessly puzzles out why his or her card won't work but it is more annoying when the turnstile itself decides to call it quits and dies on you. You could just feel the dagger looks of all those people behind you as they are contemplating murdering you for causing something that you didn't even do.

3) Passenger Meltdowns!

People like Amalayer girl and that annoying person who wants the whole train to know that they are fighting with their significant other while talking on the phone would be another feature that trains in Manila would have. Some countries have people who ride the train in total silence. In Manila you have people talking over the noisy train. People reacting to every delay. People fighting over the mobile phones. And they are not afraid to share it to the world. Foreign visitors might also want to start their own fights in the train but that is highly discouraged. 

4) Flying Trains!

Not due to Maglev mind you but simply because the train brakes don't really work at all. And like a scene straight out of Speed you would be lucky to get out of train with only a few broken bones.

Yup. Be one of the lucky ones who get on the train whose breaks dont work and you might just find yourself at the groundlevel traffic of your next station. Sure beats walking! 

5) Decoupling drift!

Imagine watching the front part of the train...Now imagine watching it getting farther and farther as your own carriage slides away from it. True story.Happened more than once.

Yup the Decoupling drift is a real horrible way to start or end your day. MRT commuters have the distinct chance of experiencing it at least once in their commuting lives. 

6)To The Next Station Death March!

So you just squeezed through the train. You are inches from kissing the arm pits of the person in front of you and it seems he has forgotten to put any deodorant on , someone is moving behind you and it seems like they are taking advantage of you. Someone has been holding on your shoulders like their life depended on it...without your permission.

While enduring all this and thinking that you are merely a couple of stations away from your next destination...the train suddenly stops.The doors open and the muffled voice of the train operator mumbles an apology and that you need to walk all the way to the next station where another train might be waiting for you."Might" being the operative word here since (Check #1)...

Congratulations! The Next Station death march has begun!

Well nobody really has died due to this but you might feel like dying when you are late for an important meeting , wedding , graduation , presentation....especially if you are the one giving the meeting , getting married , going to graduate or giving the presentation. 

7) MRT presents Human snakes

Yes like that game where more and more pieces get added to the snake as you progress. Only this is not a game and it is an ever lengthening line that would soon stretch from your imagination and directly into your nightmares. Bladder control and anal sphincter control is important in times like these. Empty your bladder and stomach before joining the snake. You would be there for a while. This snake is part snail as well. Unlike the snake that strikes fast ,this one is content to move in a snails pace to make sure that when you finally get to the train you don't have enough patience to suffer any more indignities. 

8) The Herd...

Ever wanted to be treated like a cow going to the slaughter? Now is your chance! The MRT divides its loooooooooooooooooong lines of people by barring the way with thick ropes. Once a particular area/section is clear , the ropes come down and people stampede through to the the next rope. Enjoy peoples groaning as they watch the 3rd train to skip the station or enjoy observing pickpockets taking out peoples wallets and phones with the skill of shinobi!

Yup , the MRT experience just might get off the ground with all the features that I mentioned here. Time to print the new tickets for the rides.

"In the Midst of them"

"In the Midst of them"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

I have written ghost stories before involving my mom but this is probably the first time that I will write a ghost story with her as the main character. I find it odd but here I am writing about it anyway. She may never get to enjoy my writing but I was able to make her proud when I was still the editor in chief during my college days.

The story involved the group that my mom established and for many years , lead and improved. This is the Dalisay Seafarers Allottees Association where she was President and continued to be a consultant even though she and dad already transferred to another company. 

On the 3rd day the DSAA ladies visited mom during her wake and decided to stay at the Garden of the Ascension Columbary. They sat around one table and enjoyed catching up ,talking about memories of mom and how she never wanted anyone of them to be sad. This went on for hours. In the middle of their table was a white monoblock chair. Nobody found it odd at first but no one sat at that chair. They would always sit near the back or near that center chair but never on it.Their chat continued but all of them stopped when my youngest sibling Nadine went near them and pointed at the chair and said. "Si Mommy oh!"

The talking stopped and the ladies discovered the vacant chair. I was not able to see mom in it but I believed that she was there. She probably missed the company of this group that she has guided and shaped all these years. She probably missed hearing the gossips and arguments. All I know for sure is that she is missed and she will always be missed by her fellow DSAA members. Fear is normally what people associate with ghosts but I believe that mom gave something more than fear that day. Maybe as a farewell to this group that was always looking for direction from her.A final blessing  , a final fellowship with the people whom she has been helping even on the final day of her life. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Mga Parang Bangungot sa 2 Pangungusap...Part 2"

"Mga Parang Bangungot sa 2 Pangungusap...Part 2"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Kadalasan din naman natin hinahanap ang kadiliman ngunit ang kadalaman ay sadyang nakapaligid lang sa atin. Maraming sitwasyon na minsan akala natin ay inosente lang ay kung saan na napupunta. Halimbawa na lang ang blog post na ito na nagumpisa isang umaga nang marinig ko ang isang tao na kumakatok sa CR na malapit sa aking Examination room kung may tao sa loob nito.Simple lamang pero naisip ko kung paano ay may sumagot nga at wala naman talagang tao dun sa loob?

Kung nabasa mo ang orihinal na post ko tungkol dito ay salamat. Kung hindi naman ay puwede mo naman puntahan dito sa link na ito.

Masaya na din ako sa 6 na ito...Basahin mo para di lang ako ang may malikot na pagiisip paminsan minsan.Lights on or lights off?

1) Dahil sa tawag ng kalikasan , nagmamadali siyang tumakbo sa banyo sa dulo ng bahay at nang napansing nakasarado ang pinto , kumatok at nagtanong , "May tao ba?"... "Di ako tao" ang sagot ng malalim na boses sa likod ng pinto.

2) "Malulunod ka ngayon..." Ang nabasa niyang Horoscope sa Diyaryo."Di naman totoo yan" , ang sabi niya sa sarili sabay bunggo sa kanya ng isang truck na siyang dahilan kung bakit nahulog ang tricycle niya sa Ilog sa may Nagtahan.

3) "Parang May Mali" tanong ni Art sa sarili pagkagising sa kama kung saan di niya maigalaw ang kanyang buong katawan at tila ba may angulo na mali ang kanyang ulo. Sabay naalala niya na di siya nasalo ng kanyang kaibigan habang nagbabackflip...

4) Pinipilit niyang sumigaw sa mga nurse at doctor na nakapaligid sa kanya sa operating table , "Gising ako!!! , Gising ako!!!, Masakit!!! , Masakit!!!". Nagpatuloy ang operasyon ng 12 oras.

5) Nagtataka si Benito kung bakit napakabigat ng kanyang bentang taho ngayong araw ngunit inisip na lang niya na pagod lang siya at walang pahinga ng ilang araw. Laking tuwa niya nang may mga call center agent na papalapit at bibili sa kanya , binuksan ang mga lalagyan para tingnan ang taho kung saan isang ulong pugot ang siya namang tumitig pabalik sa kanya.

6) "Tama na yan Tony , wag mo nang dilaan ang kamay ni Mommy", kalahating gising at kalahating tulog na sinabi ni Sabel sa kanyang aso. Binuksan ni Sabel ang kanyang mga mata , si Tony ay nakatitig at nagagalit sa kung ano man ang dumidila sa kamay niya.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"The Spark Wars begins"

"The Spark Wars begins"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

Spark Wars. A new format that has been discussed in the last couple of days in the Magic forums. Taking its cue from the last Commander 2015 products where Planeswalkers were being used as Commanders for the first time Spark Wars is taking the game into a more limited and challenging space. 

So to start things off this particular format only utilizes cards from these particular blocks as well as the core sets that were released in between them.

Lorwyn Block
Alara Block
Zendikar Block
Scars of Mirrodin Block
Innistrad Block
Return to Ravnica Block
Theros Block
Khans of Tarkir Block

The limit that was set here is to remove overpowered cards from the card pool. Legacy and Vintage cards adding into EDH and Tiny Leaders favors long time players or players who have the time and finances to acquire these strong cards. With the limitation set to Lorwyn to Khans of Tarkir some strong staple cards like the Pacts or Force of Wills are removed but this is not to say that there won't be any abusive combos still coming out of the wood works. There has been a banned list of sorts that have come out with the format but I expect that there will be more as Magic communities around the world build around this particular format. 

On a side note here Lorwyn was probably chosen because this was where the original planeswalkers surfaced. It seemed like a very unlikely block to have planeswalkers but it just went to show during that time that Planeswalker are everywhere even in a pastoral plane such as Lorwyn.

Now on to the format itself. Spark Wars is really like EDH and Tiny Leaders combined. The number you are looking for here is 61. 60 cards plus your Commander which should be a planeswalker. The rules are the same no cards with the same name except for basic lands and the color identity of the deck is based on the mana colors of your Planeswalker commander.

The other rule is that there should be no other Planeswalker in your deck.I think that this is a great rule because having access to different versions of one planeswalker means that you could take advantage of the latest Legendary rule. The one where you could cast a planeswalker , use an ability and cast another one to be able to use that "fresh" planeswalkers ability and let the other one explode. Since your Commander is a planeswalker you always have one handy and could be sacrificed if need be creating so many complications.

This format is exciting because it gives players another venue to channel their creativity. A limited card pool means that most of these cards are relatively cheaper to come by than cards coming from the older Blocks like Onslaught or Mirrodin. Players could also create new interactions based on the cards that they already have lying around their homes. Maybe even discovering new combos and interactions along the way which in my mind is one of the greatest draws of this game.

I guess the only downside that I see is that the new Flip Planeswalker cards are included in the banned list since their casting costs are way too cheap and are considered to be overpowered. I guess I would just have to put my PR foil Liliana , Heretical Healer in some other deck. So now it is time to ignite your spark , create your Planeswalker deck and on to the Spark Wars.

Monday, July 13, 2015

"Shaman of the Forgotten Ways:The tucked threat"

"Shaman of the Forgotten Ways:The tucked threat"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

Biorhythm. One of those cards that I had the pleasure of owning even before EDH. And one card that I hoped that I could have put to good use before I found out that it was one of those cards that were banned in the EDH format because it proved to be too strong. I mean it could end the game in an instant. People who control the spell just need to make sure that they control at least one creature and then destroy the rest. Wrath of God + Indestructible creature + Biorhythm means that every one's life total because equal to the number of creatures he or she controls. So yes it does not end well for everyone else unless they decide to fling something your way before they die. So they decided to ban this awesome card because it makes game play a bit less exciting to those who die by it.

So imagine my surprise when they printed Biorhythm on a stick.This is in the form of Shaman of the Forgotten ways. I loved the card instantly but there was some concern that it too would get a banning. 
There are several reasons why this would not come to pass.

1.It is a freaking creature! One of the classic questions in Magic is...Can you Doom blade it? If so then no worries.

2. Formidable - Look at the amount of power that you need to amass in order to activate this ability. A prerequisite that may or may not win you the game. Since this will be a green EDH deck expect that the 8 power requirement will be negligible. Still. Can you doom blade it?

The Shaman is already 2 Power and because of the 2 mana that it adds you could be sure that you would be casting Atarka or even Surrak in no time at all.The question is while you have a 

3. 11 mana to activate!.... So let us say that you already have 8 power or more for the Formidable pre requisite. The question now is do you have enough mana to activate the the Shamans ability before someone can doom blade the hell out of it?

Unlike the cheaper costing Biorhythm which could also be cheated into play , Shaman of the forgotten ways will force you to play straight and narrow. 

With these reasons do you think I will dissuaded into not playing the Shaman? No way. I still think that this is a fun way to end the game and people will always be wary of that seemingly innocent 3 to cast mana producer that you have usually tucked in your lands. 

They would be counting lands and they would be counting creatures. Wary if you would be able to pull off a Biorhythm on them. This could prove to be a great diversion if you are actually planning to go all Aggro.Or maybe when they are not watching you could take out that tucked threat and just activate it.

"Tiny Leaders:Azusa at Usapang X."

"Tiny Leaders:Azusa at Usapang X."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

Bata pa lang ako eh mahilig na ako sa X. Sa sobrang hilig ko sa X eh napakarami kong nahahanap sa internet. Napakaraming website na merong X at sa tingin ko eh lalo pang darami ang mga X sites na ito. 

Kung hahanapin mo si Azusa , Lost but seeking makikita mo na marami ding nakaakibat na X sa kanya. Minsan kung kumausap ka ng mga tao eh marami din na mabibigay sa iyo na X.

Itong nakaraang Block sa Magic the Gathering na Theros , palibhasa eh Griyego ang tema natutuwa ako at napakarami ding X na lumabas. X na X na X talaga!

"Wow X"
Sila ang dahilan kung bakit naisipan kung gumawa ng Hydra Deck para sa Tiny Leaders na format ng Magic.Siguro di ko na masyadong paguusapan ang mga basics tulad nang 22 na lupa at si Azusa na tumatayong Commander ng deck na ito.

At dahil si Azusa ang Commander alam mo na ang deck na ito eh magsusuka nang magsusuka nang magsusuka ng lupa. Ang gusto niyang gawin sa buong laro eh maglabas nang maglabas ng Mana o lupa para masustentuhan ang pangangailangan sa X.

Ngayon sa format ng Tiny leaders ang mga manlalaro eh nalilimitahan sa mga spells at creatures na nagkakahalaga ng 3 mana o pababa lamang. Magandang ehersisyo ng pagiisip lalo na at kailangan mong magisip ng maigi kong ano ang bagay sa mga deck na gagawin mo.

Dito kay Azusa eh magandang sa unang bagsak pa lang ng lupa eh maica- cast mo na ang Eladamri's Vineyard o si Magus of the Vineyard.Mapapansin mo na mabibigyan ka ng napakaagang 2 mana bago ang iyong main phase. Mana na puwede mong gamitin para mailabas ng maaga si Azusa at makalapag ng 2 extra na lupa kada turn.Siyempre isasama natin sila Courser of Kruphix , Sylvan Caryatid , Elvish Mystic , Muldaya Channelers , Farhaven Elves , Wood Elves para lalo pang bumilis ang ating Mana sa paglabas. 

"Mmmmm X ulit!"
Kadalasan sa turn 3 pa lang ay napakarami nang Mana na magiging available sa Green Mage pero dahil di ka nga puwedeng lumampas ng Mana cost 3 sa Tiny Leaders dito ngayon papasok ang X. Ang tropa ng mga Hydra na puwede mong palakihin depende sa mana na ibibigay mo sa kanilang X.  Ito ay mga Hydra na nakita kong pakalat kalat lang sa bahay kaya binigyan ko sila ng tahanan , maaari natin tawaging Bahay Kalinga Hydra. Si Mistcutter Hydra , Hooded Hydra , Vastwood Hydra , Protean Hydra , Primordial Hydra at Genesis Hydra.

Kadalasan si Primordial Hydra at Mistcutter Hydra ang nagsisilbing pambato ng deck at salamat sa card na Solidarity of Heroes sila ang kadalasang nakakatapos ng mga kalaban.Si Primordial Hydra kasi dumodoble ang counters kada Upkeep minsan umabot ng 80 ang counters sa kanya! May utang pa sa buhay ng ilang games ang kalaban mo. Kasalanan ng simple pero napakalakas na Solidarity of Heroes.

"Solid Pre!"
Ngayon maliban sa aking mga paboritong X creatures ano pa ang magandang mailagay dito sa deck na ito? siyempre para abusuhin ang dami ng lupa na lumalapag sa battlefield naglagay ako ng Dungrove Elder. Lakas base sa dami ng iyong mga Forests. At Hexproof pa! sakit sa ulo! Si Budoka Gardener eh andito din , masaya kaya gumawa ng X/X na Elemental base sa dami ng mga lupa mo. Medyo pag nabilang mo mabibigla ka na lang kasi may 10/10 Elemental ka na.Ang paborito ko na Strata Scythe galing sa Mirrodin ay isa pang malaking tulong sa pagiging agresibo ng deck na ito kahit na sino kasi sa mga mahihina mong creature(gaya ng mga Woodelves na 1/1) eh biglang nagiging Higante.

Sa mga lupa ay maganda ding isama ang Nykthos , Shrine to Nyx dahil sa dami nang Green Creatures na nagdadagdag sa Devotion count. Mas maraming mana mas maraming pampakain sa X. 

Speaking of X ang card na Animist's Awakening galing sa Magic Origins ay nasama ko na din dito. Di lang siya masayang X card. Tuwang tuwa pa sa kanya si Vinelasher Kudzu! 

Hanggang dito na lang muna at magpapakain pa ako ng mga Hydra. Mula sa Bahay Kalinga Hydra. Signing Off. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

"Magic Origins PR timeline:Missing and Finding Liliana ,Heretical Healer"

"Magic Origins PR timeline:Missing and Finding Liliana ,Heretical Healer"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Saturday , July 11,2015  

9:30am - Approved by big boss to play...Aven thumbs up...Wifey thumbs up...

9:31am - Calls Tournament Organizer(Yes , I have him on speed dial right next to Pain Reliever Supplier and Spa Reservations) to reserve a black PR kit...

12:00 noon - Got home after a long breakfast and errands...fixes Lands , Sleeves and playmat for PR...set alarm to 2pm...promptly falls asleep...Snores to every one's annoyance

2:00pm - Alarm sounds and it feels as if souls were being strangled somewhere in the distance...Lets alarm go to snooze...another 5 minutes is probably ok...

4:00pm - Eye seems to burst open....Seems to have forgotten something but what?....Reality comes crashing down....The PR!!!! waaaah...

"Probably looked like this guy...only not as cute..."

4:03pm - Manages to Gargle with Listerine , Change clothes , Get gear , kiss sleeping wife and wide awake daughter before rushing through the door , going back shortly to check that it is locked and off to my car... which has a semi-flat tire...

4:15pm - While having my tire vulcanized called St ,(My Tournament organizer) and was greeted by the news that one of our Community mates got a Liliana , Heretical Healer PR foil in his PR kit...My heart sank , there was little chance of lightning striking twice in a particular event...

4:30pm - Saw the Horrendous traffic along Mac Arthur and decided that it was better to stay home and pick my Black PR Kit tomorrow...

Sunday , July 12 2015

After getting my PR kit this is what I opened. 

Lightning was supposed to strike twice yesterday. I can only imagine what I would have achieved with Liliana , Dark Petition , a whole lot of removal and Gaea's Revenge in my PR deck. Probably a lot...So maybe next time I won't let that alarm go to snooze...

"Am I not bomb enough for you? tsk tsk tsk..."

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"A Letter to Luzvi"

"A Letter to Luzvi"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

It has been a few months and the pain is still here. I wrote this letter for my mom on the 5th day of her wake. I was there in front of her remains as I typed these words. Typing it helped me but I am still in pain with her loss. I am not sharing this for anything. It is still my blog after all and well if I could post my silly thoughts on anything I could surely post about the woman who first loved me unconditionally. 


I was sad that I was not able to talk to you one last time. I was sorry that after seeing you so healthy and happy I was only able to see you lifeless with a group of doctors who were trying desperately to revive you.

I wish that I could have told you that I loved you and that I was there , that you were not alone in all of this. I was there. I wished that you could have opened your eyes and escaped this time around as well like you always did in the face of death.I always believed that you would be lecturing me and reminding me of family ties and bonds for as long as I lived.

I wish you could have said , I love you son to me one last time.I wish you could have told me how proud you are of me one last time. It is only now that I realized that you didnt have to tell me those things  at all. I realized that in all those times that we were not around each other you always talked about me even among your friends or probably even to people whom you have just met. Like Aven and me I knew that you could probably not stay quiet for very long. We all know where we got it.

It hurts but now more than ever I am filled with realizations.
I realized that all those invitations to have breakfast or dinner or to go with you to different places was your way of saying that you loved me and loved my company. I realized that all those times that you relied on me to do the things that you wanted was your way of saying that you trusted me and that I could get all of those things done because you believed I could. I realized that all your life you loved me and was so proud of me beyond anything that I could ever accomplish in this life of mine.

I realized that I was and never was loved less by you in any of the things that I did or accomplished. Of even in the things that I was never able to do or resolve. You loved me even if you did not tell me those words. You showed me. You talked about me. Bragged about me as if I could move the moon and stars. Probably told them that I was important. I probably wasn't important to them but I know that I was important to you and that was all that mattered. 

Ma. I love you and you know that I do. You may or may not hear me at all but I do and it will be hard without you believe it or not. You were a glue to this family and you kept us together.

To everyone else you were Superwoman. Savior.To me you were mom and as often as told you that I would pay you back you always told me that...Bayad na anak. I will try and live a life that you would be proud of Ma. I will be a good husband and Father to Aven. I will be a good Kuya to Aj and Nadine. I will be a good son to Dad. Thank you ma for always loving me. I will see you again. 

your son,

"Living Lore: When Scrolls Attack"

"Living Lore: When Scrolls Attack"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

Here we go again after all the hyped cards and the stabilization of prices that follow after a new expansions release. I am now happily able to buy certain "crap"(another mans trash , another mans treasure ) rares and see if I could run with it in the EDH setting.The card that I have set my sights on today is Living Lore. 

Have you ever been attacked by books before? Maybe the worst time a book hurt you physically was when someone threw one at you or a book dropped on you from a high place like a shelf. Well if you live in the world of Alternate Time Tarkir AKA Present Tarkir the books or specifically the scrolls there could actually kill you. Talk about crushed by pages of an unread manuscript or spellbook. Living Lore is exactly that. 

I mean at 4 mana this is basically a cheap spell that could turn out to be a pretty nasty monster given one condition. You need to have an Instant or Sorcery Spell in your graveyard to feed it. The way I look at it this is like reverse Imprint or Graveyard Imprinting. Living Lore is perfect for a lot of Self Mill decks which could be Sultai/Silumgar or Dimir or basically anything that has Blue in it. Any deck combination that could use high mana casting cards early.I expect to have Entomb getting a really high mana cost card in the graveyard as well.

So here is the cool thing as Living Lore comes into play you exile an Instant or Sorcery(Better Choose A Very High Mana Cost Card) and its casting cost becomes Living Lore's Power and Toughness. Imagine Temporal Trespass "Imprinting" on this Baby and you got an 11/11 creature willing to do your bidding! You really don't have to do it early so this could fit in to some peoples controlled style of play , political maneuvering or just their deadly end game.  Dig Through time seems like another great card to go with Living Lore. 

But wait...There's More! Not only do you get to smash face with your book/scroll and smile like a nerd who suddenly has the power to hurt someone with a book...when Living Lore deals combat damage you could sacrifice it and use the "Imprinted" Instant or Sorcery spell on it. I don't know but someone out there might have thought of mixing this up with an Obliterate to annoy his friends. Oh wait. That would be me. 

Opponents better have blockers ready because you could be sure that when someone has this in their EDH deck there would be plenty of nasty Instant and Sorcery Spells just waiting to be abused....err...reused.

Living Lore. Play it. Have the satisfaction of crushing someone with a scroll.Yeah slapped around by scrolls. Imagine your opponents admitting that.Death by Book.  

"Pauper Kings:Boros Slash and Dash"

"Pauper Kings:Boros Slash and Dash"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Lizzie a long time Magic buddy in SM North called my mono red Kolaghan Dash deck  Slash and Dash awhile back. I am not sure if there is an archetype already existing in Standard pauper but the name is simply too cool to pass up so Lizzie and my avid readers I came up with a deck that is fitting of the the name. Boros Slash and Dash:

4 x Wind Scarred Crag
9 x Plains
9 x Mountains
22 Lands

4 x Impact Tremors
4 x Raise the Alarm
4 x Dragon Fodder
4 x Triplicate Spirits
4 x Pacifism
4 x Lightning Strike
24 Spells

4 x Jeskai Student
4 x Kolagahan Stormsinger
4 x Mardu Scout
12 Creatures

Impact Tremors is still a big part of the strategy here and the point is to get one or two out early so that most of the token producing spells would act as direct damage even before a single attack could be declared. 

As I was telling my fellow Team Virulence Team mate Mark Abude the other night it feels good to have your Raise the Alarm and Dragon Fodder act like they were Shocks. And if you have enough creatures to convoke a Triplicate Spirits then you also get a lightning Bolt for Free! All thanks to Impact Tremors. Well everyone coming in on your side will sure get to burn your opponent. How is that for a Dashing entrance right?

Pacifism and Lightning Strike offer you early control here but should you find yourself fighting bigger monsters that a little 3 damage could not kill then I suggest boarding in a Pressure Point. A well timed Pressure point could simply be disastrous for your opponent. 
Imagine the smile on your face when you draw a Pressure Point with your weenie army poised for the lethal attack and your are able to tap the lone creature that they have in your way. Priceless.

Of course weenie 1/1 creatures might not be enough for the victory so I added in Jeskai Student , who takes advantage of all the non-creature spells in this deck and could be relied on to finish an opponent as well ,  Kolagahan Stormsinger , who is fast , activates Impact Tremors and should it survive could reactivate it the following turn.Mardu Scout is simply a 3/1 for 2 mana. With Dash. And I love goblins. So yeah. In the deck you go my little goblin.

Boros Slash and Dash is at its heart a very aggro deck. Push for the early damage and damage as often as you can. The reason is that if your opponent has no way of recovering damage in the end game , even if he or she has managed to stabilize the board and none of your dashers could no longer attack. Those token producing spells would be the difference. Placing more creatures on the battlefield while damaging an opponent? So much value for your mana. So much direct damage goodness. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

"The Weight of your stay"

"The Weight of your stay"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

Listen now
Oh listen now to these words
though I may no longer say them
you keep them and be safe

I ask you to dare
to look at the sky and soar
to be up there where you belong
and open up more doors

Soon it will go
and all things will fade
Yet try to hold on a little
bring a little in this life

Say what you mean
and mean what you say
keep your promises from yesteryears
and yesterdays

So that one day
So when that day comes
Stand and be weighed
worthy oh so worthy of your stay