Friday, October 30, 2015

"Pauper Kings: Exploiting Aristocrats 2015"

"Pauper Kings: Exploiting Aristocrats 2015"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Everything has a reincarnation. The old becomes the new and the new becomes the old and then back again. There is a deck archetype called Aristocrats that mainly revolved around creatures dying to sacrifice outlets for added benefits. Mainly in the form of scrying , opponents losing life and you gaining life(Kalastria Highborn) and gaining Indestructibility(Falkenrath Aristocrat). Blood Artist Figures a lot into that lot too. 

So as I was travelling from one clinic to another I  began to think about a pauper version of this particular archetype. The first thing that came to my mind was the recently reprinted Nantuko husk. He is the perfect sacrifice outlet in pauper. A +2/+2 per sacrifice makes him a big monster in no time at all.  So what creatures that are available in standard would make the Husk great? Well the whole crew from the Silumgar of course. When those guys die they give you so much more value.

So here is the deck list:

4 x Evolving Wilds
8 x Swamps
8 x Islands
20 lands

4 x Sidisi's Faithful 
4 x Sultai Emmisary 
4 x Nantuko Husk
4 x Palace Familiar
4 x Qarsi Sadist
4 x Shambling Goblin
24 creatures

4 x Anticipate 
4 x Gripping Chill
4 x Reave Soul
4 x Negate
16 spells

Evolving Wilds makes an appearance here because of its ability to get you the basic land you need(aside from the fact that I have dozens of them lying around). 

The deck revolves around the 3 mana cost Nantuko Husk. He is the most expensive creature in this deck so I think that this deck could be aggressive even in the early turns. So here are what you need to watch out for.

Sultai Emmisary + Nantuko Husk - a +2/+2 to your Husk and the 2/2 card it just manifested could add another +2/+2!
Palace Familiar + Nantuko Husk  - a +2/+2 and  Card draw! Very important in replenishing your hand.
Qarsi Sadist + Nantuko Husk  - a +2/+2 and the qarsi sadist makes a semi blood artist impression by giving you two life points while an opponent loses the same amount. Just so you don't die from the early damages you took.
Shambling Goblin + Nantuko Husk - a +2/+2  and you get to kill a one toughness creature!
Sidisi's Faithful + Nantuko Husk - a +2/+2 and an Unsummon! Perfect for those pesky blockers and creatures that generally want to ruin your day.

So what happens when you don't have a Nantuko Husk in your hand? You don't have to worry since some of these creatures have the means to sacrifice there fellow creatures with Exploit.  Sidisi's Faithful and  Qarsi Sadist can do a great job of killing off their friends for fun and profit. 

Then there is also the inclusion of Anticipate as a card draw. Gripping Chill and Reave soul are the decks threat neutralizers. Negate just so you can say no when your opponent is trying to kill your Beefed Up Nantuko Husk. 

So what do you think of the deck? Would you be exploiting your friends for fun and profit too? Don't you just love the Nantuko Husk? Leave me  a comment below and thanks for reading,

"Turning Kytheon/Gideon"

"Turning Kytheon/Gideon"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

Aside from being the only planeswalker(with a condition) that costs a mere 1 mana to cast Kytheon/Gideon also has the distinction of being the first Flip Planeswalker for White.Many question why Ajani was not chosen for this honor being one of the originals that came out from the Lorwyn Block. And I think that the answer lies in the number of versions that Ajani already has floating around. Plus Gideon is a character that will figure heavily in the next block which is Battle for Zendikar.

So what do we need to know to flip this guy over into his planeswalker form? Battle Tactics and Creatures of course. Kytheon needs to attack with 2 other creatures(Reminiscent of the Boros Legions Battalion mechanic) and He gets to change into his Gideon mode. Sounds easy right? 

I mean turn 1 Kytheon, Hero of Akros , Raise the alarm on turn 2 or cast 2 creatures of one mana cost each and attack on turn 3 to flip.(Turn 3 seems to be the earliest time to Flip with most planeswalker in Magic Origins). Nothing to it right? Given the speed of the deck with great one drops you could have Gideon on your side and you could even do it in standard you just have to worry about the 1 to cast removal spells as well like Fiery Impulse. 

To speed things up a bit you could add Zero to cast Artifact creatures in your deck like my favorites Memnite and Ornithopter. On turn one you could cast Kytheon and 2 of these creatures and then flip as early as turn two!

So what is so special with Gideon? Gideon , Battle forged brings a somewhat weaker version of Gideon Jura but hey he is no pushover either.Starting with 3 loyalty counters you can choose future battle plans with his first 2 abilities.

Looking at his first ability which is a +2 , Up to One target creature an opponent controls attacks Gideon during its controllers next turn if able.

Notice the beginning of that sentence that states Up to One creature. It simply means that you could choose to have no creatures forced to attack Gideon next turn. A good plan if you want to keep him around for awhile. You just made his 3 loyalty counters to 5. Out of critical damage range from things like Lightning Strike.

The second ability is a +1 that makes a creature you control indestructible until your next turn. So what if the only creature your control attacked this turn? No worries since this second ability also untaps it. Ready and willing to defend you or Gideon from Attack.

For Gideons last ability which is a free activation he becomes a 4/4 Indestructible Human Soldier Creature that is still a planeswalker and you prevent all the damage that would be dealt to him this turn.

I mean the guy could cross paths with Sarkhan and the Dragons of Tarkir and Survive! Maybe killing most of them in the process as well but the Indestructibility and Prevention of damage is a bit redundant.

Then again Gideon might bump into something nasty from Lorwyn. Something like a creature with the Wither mechanic. A mechanic that puts -1/-1 counters on creatures that are hard to take off for normal creatures.Gideon in his creature form would just brush off the -1/-1 counters during battle! He also has the distinction of surviving a block from Skithiryx! No damage , No -1/-1 counters! Talk about Tough!

Well that is all for today. Keep on Brewing. 

"I am a doctor"

"I am a doctor"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

I am a doctor. 
I am someones hero
I am someones devil
I am a failure and
I am a success
I save lives as much as I end them

I am someone's saint 
and someones monster
I am the one at the helm of the prayer
I am the culprit , the betrayer

I am in pain
and they are in pain
we share the same thread
in loss and in gain

I am a doctor
I am human
My aim is not to please
My aim is not to placate you
Sometimes , maybe sometimes
I can save you.

"Drowner of Hope: Living up to its name"

"Drowner of Hope: Living up to its name"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

With it's .49 cent price tag on or as the price translate to us here in the Philippines...Bebebente! , Drowner of Hope really lives up to its name when you get two of it in a single fatpack or even two of it in a box. It literally drowns your hopes of getting a decent rare or an expedition land. Kinda like that time I opened my BFZ fatpack and got 2 Ugins Insights! or that last Magic:Origins fatpack that yielded Not one , but two Hixus, Prison Warden. I keep hearing Bebebente every time I open a rare like this one. Still hasn't stopped.

Seriously though Drowner of Hope is not really all that bad.(Or maybe I am just making it sound like its isn't bad so that it would raise in stock value by 5 pesos. And then I would have to yell out Bebebente singko!) . Yes  there are a few things that go against it like it being colorless but having blue in that 6 mana cost. And the fact that you have to use Eldrazi Scions to use its tapping ability. So much for all those Eldrazi Spawns you wont be able to use here. Drowner of Hope is an Elitist , He likes Scions and doesn't much like mingling with Spawns. Booo. 

Anyway off to the good points that Drowner of Hope has. Hmmmmm....
Kidding. It's a solid 5/5 for 6 mana(one blue in there) that comes with its own pair of Eldrazi Scions. It gets lonely alone so it has to enter the battlefield with 2 of those guys. It probably gets even lonelier when it decides to throw away those two Eldrazi Scions towards an opposing big creatures face , tapping them in the process. The loneliness passes quickly as it deals 5 unopposed damage and the best part is that he doesn't die. (Insert Drowner of Hopes laughter here)

To make the Drowner of Hope even more palatable you could Imprint this guy to your Mimic Vat. And like I have written in previous blogs before there are 3 times that you could maximize a Mimic Vat.

#1 When an opponent declares an attack

- With the Drowner of Hope and Mimic Vat you could stop 3 creatures that are attacking you!(talk about tentacles and long reach!). 3 creatures? How? So you make a token creature  of the  Drowner of Hope  , meaning that you have 3 slimy eldrazi bodies on the battlefield. You then block 3 of the nastiest of your opponents creatures. The Drowner of Hope and its Scions die but hey better him than you right?

#2 An opponents End of Turn

- When you activate the Mimic Vat and it spews out the beloved Drowner of Hope at the end of turn it actually can attack on your turn.7 points of damage. On your turn you could create another Drowner of Hope token(assuming that you are going for blood here). You now have 14 points of damage at the ready with 2 Drowners and 4 Eldrazi Scions.

Let us say that your opponent has 4 creatures on the battlefield and is down to 10 or less life points. An opponent might be pretty confident in surviving because he still has a lot of blockers. This is where Drowner of Hope will really live up to it's name. You sacrifice 4 Eldrazi Scions Tokens and tap those 4 blockers to have the 2 Drowner of Hope tokens you created give your opponent a tentacled kiss of death. 

So have I changed your mind about the Drowner of Hope? See it rising to Bebebente Singko from Bebebente? Leave me a comment below. Tell me if you have other things in mind for this card. Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Ugin , The Spirit Dragon: Jackpot 777"

"Ugin , The Spirit Dragon: Jackpot 777"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Much has been said about the Dragon Planeswalker Ugin and his role in the Eldrazi entrapment. How much his disappearance has reshaped Tarkir into what it is now and now with his return the future alternate timeline that features the dominance of the Dragons of Tarkir.

Me I am just excited to see a new 8 colorless mana Dragon Planeswalker in print. A new planeswalker that holds new possibilities. In contrast with Nicol Bolas which has the same mana cost with the Grixis colors(U/B/R) , Ugin , The Spirit Dragon is a much easier planeswalker to cast and while having just one more mana than Karn , Liberated it should hold a place in a lot of EDH decks that could power out massive amounts of Mana in an instant or decks that could put it directly into play. A deck that has Narset at the helm perhaps, the holidays have been really great for Narset and she is getting a lot of goodies to play with this year. I mean she could also possibly play a Planeswalker version of herself too! Won't that be weird? You actually get to summon yourself to fight for yourself. 

Getting back to Ugin , The Spirit Dragons first ability we see a built in Ghostfire(a colorless spell that deals 3 damage to target creature or player). Since our planeswalker dragon is colorless it also circumnavigates the traditional hindrances to Burn spells like Protection from Red. Anything with 3 toughness or less dies! The 3 damage could also be used to take down opposing planeswalkers loyalty counters. All of that and you get a +2. A step in the right direction in getting the Ugin Jackpot ability.

While Ugin , The Spirit Dragon's first ability is a pinpoint removal , his second ability is a tricky mass removal spell that promises to eliminate at least all creatures or permanents with 7 mana casting cost and has one or more colors. This planeswalker starts off with 7 loyalty points and reminiscent of Chandra Nalaars second ability you would have to pay X loyalty counters to feed the second ability. There is a limit to the power of Ugins Mass removal however. Creatures that cost 8 mana or more are unaffected as well as the colorless creatures such as Morph creatures and those that were created with Manifest in this standard environment.Colorless Artifact creatures,Colorless token creatures , Eldrazi Scions and Eldrazi Brood lines as well as Lands especially Manlands. They  also escape unscathed if you plan to use Ugin in your EDH decks. Other than these drawbacks all the rest gets wiped clean from the face of the battlefield. You could then swoop in with your colorless trio of Mutavaults , Inkmoth and Blinkmoth Nexuses. Goodbye other permanents. Hello Manland attackers.

Ugin , The Spirit Dragon's Ultimate ability lets you gain 7 life , Draw 7 cards and put 7 permanents into the battlefield from your hand. The jackpot on a slot machine! The ultimate ability could be used 3 turns after Ugin comes into play , 2 if you have The Chain Veil with you. 7 life gives a little cushion especially if you are already in the red , drawing 7 cards replenishes your hand and 7 permanents landing on the battlefield hopefully turns the tide in your favor. I imagine drawing the 3 Eldrazi Brood , Darksteel Colossus , Blightsteel Colossus , Urabrask, the Hidden and Craterhoof Behemoth and having them land and attacking on the battlefield...

(Pardon me , my inner Timmy is recovering from its palpitations)

Ugin , The Spirit Dragon I am glad I opened a pack with you in it. Now it's time to see if I can pull off the Ugin Jackpot 777.

"Evil EDH Combos: Land Splinters"

"Evil EDH Combos: Land Splinters"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Land. The basic source of mana for all of magic. Without it plans fail , realities become non-existent , Plans do not reach Fruition. So imagine if you have a combo that lets you waste away an opponents mono colored EDH deck into complete ruin.Such as the EDH Decks from Commander 2014 for example.

This is a very simple combo yet deadly in the right situation. It starts with Liquimetal Coating from the Scars of Mirrodin expansion which has also been reprinted in Commander decks. It is a 2 colorless mana costing artifact that taps to make a permanent an artifact in addition to all its other types. What you need to do is target your opponents Forest , Plains , Mountain , Island or Swamp and then target it with this...

Yup , Splinter from the Betrayers of Kamigawa expansion would exile your target artifact , then it would search for an opponents graveyard , hand and library for cards with the same name and exile them. All I can say is Ouch. Taking away possible plans in one stroke is devastating for mono colored decks. Lands that are not played yet disappear. Future land draws or fetches disappear. Targets for Life from the Loam or cards that could be played by Crucible of Worlds are gone.

Yes there might be other non basic lands in an EDH deck but without the main power of basic lands plans grind to an excruciatingly slow motion. Mono blue decks that do not have mana acceleration are prone to this tactic. Or basically any deck that has not developed it's mana base early on with Mana Rocks or Mana Dorks. Crippling? Yes.

However , there are some weaknesses to this plan , Such as when you are facing an EDH deck with multicolored mana. Dual or Tri-colored decks have a lesser number of basic lands and might not be as devastated by this combo .So the point in choosing lands in a Black/Blue deck for example is the color that would be more damaging to your future plans. Do you want to take away the Card Drawing and Countering power of blue or the Pinpoint/ Mass Destruction or tutoring effect of black? Choose wisely because you can be sure the other players on the EDH table will be on high alert after you pull off this combo.

The other weakness is that late in the game where a lot of lands are already in play the removal of excess lands from a deck may accelerate your opponents into their combo pieces. Take note that other artifacts with the same name on the battlefield are not affected by splinter. So Forests already in play stay in play despite all your best efforts. Sigh.

I would also like to add that this combo works well with Myr Landshaper , the difference is that it is much slower since the Myr Landshaper is a creature who cannot tap to activate its ability the moment it comes into play(Unless you equip Lightning Greaves to it). It also costs one colorless mana more but it is a redundancy that you would want to have in your EDH deck when you have a strategy that revolves around splinter. 

Another Day. Another Evil EDH combo. Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Mga Senyales na kailangan mo nang mag VL "

"Mga Senyales na kailangan mo nang mag VL "
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

Ako ay naging ahente sa mahabang panahon. Humigit kumulang na limang masasayang taon sa Call Center Industry na natigil nung kailangan ko nang magseryoso sa pagtake ng Boards. Habang ako ay naging ahente kadalasan ay nakakaramdam ako ng malaking stress dahil sa mga bagay na kailangan mong gawin at mamaintain bilang ahente. Kadalasan di napapansin ng isang ahente na kailangan niya na talagang gamitin ang kanyang mga Vacation Leave.

Ito ang siyam(bakit siyam? gusto ko eh.) na senyales na kailangan mo na munang itago sa locker mo ang iyong headset at ampli ng mga ilang araw.

Ang iba sa mga senyales na nandito ay personal kong naranasan(di ko aaminin kung ano dito) at ang iba naman ay naikuwento ng aking mga naging kasama sa industriya. Tingan mo kung kailangan mo na din talagang Mag VL.

1) Madalas mong sinusubukang mag-log in at magset up ng tools... sa PC mo sa bahay. Matic?

2) Madalas kang lumalampas ng babaan mo....partida papasok ka pa lang niyan.

3) Kapag sumasagot ka ng phone mo..."Thank you for calling _____ , this is ______ , How may I help you today?

4) Nagtataka ka na kung bakit maliit ang tissue sa bahay niyo... 

5) Minsan mo nang sinubukan na mag Badge in sa gate niyo.At naghanap ka ng guard kasi akala mo malelate ka na.

6) Lahat ng kausap mo eh natatawag mo na ng TL/OM/AM.Kahit yung Nanay mo. Pagkamano mo , TL matutulog na po ako ha.

7) Dumadalas na ang kaso mo ng "Pretendinitis"..."Wala na po akong boses...Ubo...Ubo....Ahhhhh....

8) Minsan lumabas ka ng bahay sa day off mo , napatingin ka sa langit at napaisip ka kung ano yung nakakasilaw na bolang apoy sa gitna ng langit...

9) Nung Huli kang nagpacheck ng dugo eh AB Nescafe Positive na daw ang blood type mo.

Ayan. Isa na namang Odd numbered na listahan. Nakita mo ba ang sarili mo? Kung tinamaan ka ng at least 3 sa mga ito eh oras na para magfile ng VL. Keep your fingers crossed. Sana pumayag si TL.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

"Nippon Mode On"

"Nippon Mode On"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

Aven was recently fascinated with the country of Japan. And then she asked me one of those questions that triggered the inner nerd in me. "Daddy what do you know about Japan?"

Inside me , I was going :" Oh my God! I have always wanted someone to ask me that , thank you for being the first one and yes I do know tons and I am willing to show you and tell you and yes we will watch more anime than is appropriate. And we would be talking about games and more weird stuff than you could ever imagine."

Externally since I was driving at the time and couldn't wave my hands and act like a headless chicken on speed I just said: "A lot" rather more calmly than I felt.

We then launched into the whole language learning phase and as I translated and explained what certain words and phrases meant to Aven , I could begin to see a certain wanderlust in her eyes. This is what I probably looked like all those years while my cousin Amilcar and I watched Unsubbed VHS tapes of Son Goku turning into Oozaru or Giant Ape form. Awesome and overwhelmed.And wanting more!

I think I was going too fast that Aven said. "Wait dad! I have to write all of this down! I will write all of this down! Where is my notebook?!" "Oh and dad what is the difference between Japanese , Chinese and Korean? I am mixing them all up!" I wish I could have shown her this at that time.:

By this time I could see certain gears in her mind moving around a bit to accommodate all the polite languages and informal phrases that I was bombarding her with. It was such a treat hearing her say the words for the first time. And the time spent driving seemed soooo fast. Here is another thing that we could bond over. My own daughter learning things with me.

In the back seat , I could just picture my wife rolling her eyeballs inside her skull. She now knows that when we are choosing movies and we find new anime she will now be outvoted! Yeah! She just knew that Aven has risen to a whole new level of nerd and in our house being Nerd is the norm. Yeah!

"He Who Remains"

"He Who Remains"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

"I wouldn't want to be that guy in there" one janitor said to another.


"Let's get out of here and I'd tell you..."


I hear them. They constantly mutter how sorry they are , how they feel my pain. How they know how I feel.None of them do but they still claim it anyway.

In the corner my uncle sits in a drunken stupor , muttering things that no child should hear. The children don't seem to mind him as 3 or 4 of them run passed by him. 

In one of the pews my balikbayan Aunt tries to stay immaculate as she waits for her foreigner husband to pick her up. She keeps on glancing at the big watch that she always forces us to look at. I'm not sure if its hands are moving.

In another corner two other aunts seemed to be locked in a heated discussion. They were whispering to each but you could easily read their body language. One was more threatening than the other but the other refused to back down and whispered back with equal ferocity.

The children just kept on running around and around the chapel , laughing merrily without a care in the world. One would stop to look at the pews once in awhile or to look at me oddly then they would resume their endless jokes and laughter.

In the middle of the room lay my mom and dad. Their coffins alongside each other. They were inseparable in life and now even their bodies refused to be away from each other. Of course I was the one responsible for that. They kept looking at me with those accusing eyes.

I just keep quiet and sit still.


"So they were on a family trip?"


"And he's the only one who survived?"

"Yup , the whole family gone in one accident"

"You're right I really don't want to be like that guy in there"

"Options:Talon ka na lang kaya sa bangin?"

"Options:Talon ka na lang kaya sa bangin?"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

Sir 170/120 na po yung BP niyo.
Matagal na po akong pinapag maintenance doc...
Eh bakit po hindi kayo nagtetake ng gamot?
Kasi I wanted to take that option na di ako magtetake...
Alam mo sir may option ka din to jump off a cliff pero you dont take that option di ba?
(Nervous laughter from patient)
(Me looking straight at patient)
(More nervous laughter)
"So ok na ba magstart ako today doc?
(Controlling self. Nods)
"Thanks po."

"Movie/DVD Moments"

"Movie/DVD Moments"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

My wife and I love watching movies. It is one of the things that we have in common and we have bonded over really bad movies as well as really good movies. And everything in between.I have held her during times when she was scared and times that scenes have made her cry. She did the same for me although with the way horror movies are made nowadays we usually just have to keep ourselves awake.

The usual scene in the house is that a question arises in the middle of a particular movie and my wife who is a natural Nerd Enabler(I love you) would often ask me questions like. Did this really happen in the book? You read this before right? If Neo isn't the one then who is? was Smaug really that talkative?

Recently we were watching Starship Troopers and I was going on and on like I was some directors cut monologue while my 9 year old watched the struggle between Bugs and Humans. She turned to me and said Daddy I love this film except for the bug explosion parts. She then began to ask me if it was possible to have Insects as big as those in the movie and if there are other planets out there that might contain anything but Humans or Bugs. I gave my nerdy answers.She looked at me with googly eyes and asked more questions.

You see in a house full of Nerds I really am the undisputed King Nerd.And I love every moment of it because when I give an answer my daughter already has another question at the ready.

Watching Movies isn't just a bonding thing too  , it is also an abundant supply of funny memories. Things happen while you are watching.

For example when we were still living in our old house we usually have DVD marathons with my Aunts and Cousins. My Tita Bing would usually join us very very late in the movies. She would find a spot where she was comfortable. Stretch out like a cat. Puff up a pillow or two until she was comfortable. Then she would begin to watch and as soon as she does....The Credits of the film would go rolling up. The Credits just load up and my tita Bing would be so mad because we have to decide which new movie to watch.

Then there is my mother in law who we have over at our house. My wife would want her to watch Tagalog Movies. Usually one of those films with the song titles as their own title as well(Built in Soundtrack!). My Mother-in-law who would complain that she had trouble sleeping would then proceed to doze off in the middle of the film and wake up some time later to find that the movie is about to end. And the funny thing is instead of thinking that she dozed off for an hour or so , she thought she only missed a couple of minutes of the movie. So people who were just meeting are now in a serious relationship , people who were alive are now dead. Confusing and amusing!

Yup , my family sure loves movies and I want the tradition to continue.

"Turning Liliana, Heretical Healer"

"Turning Liliana, Heretical Healer"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

One of the first cards that I ever saw from the Origins spoiler was Liliana , Heretical Healer. And by then I didn't even know her full name. I already wanted to have her and I didn't even know what she would be able to do. So when I got her in my PR kit I was just ecstatic and began planning all sorts of things for her.Liliana , Heretical Healer would be great as a Tiny Leaders Commander and as  support for the various Necromancer EDH decks that I have. 

The first thing I wanted to do was figure out how the best way to Flip her into that sexy Liliana , Defiant Necromancer. 

I mean Liliana , Heretical Healer is a great creature that has a 2/3 frame and lifelink. She could easily recover those early damages and dispatch those weaker creatures when she is defending. Liliana is just wonderful when she flips since she comes back with a 2/2 Zombie! So what would be the fastest way to flip her and when would be the best time to do so?

Liliana gets her spark ignited when a non-token creature you control dies. Much like when she inadvertently turns her brother into a zombie. While you could have creatures and a sacrifice outlet it is best to have creatures that sacrifice themselves like Blood Pet. 

The reason for a self sacrificing creature becomes apparent when an opponent targets Liliana in her creature form with an instant removal spell.In response to this threat you could sacrifice a creature like blood pet and Lili would blink out of existence causing the spell to have no legal target. She then comes back as her tattooed self along with a 2/2 zombie slave as well. Talk about cheating death right?

Creatures that die when they hit the battlefield are also great for Flipping Liliana. I am looking at Hangarback walker and Endless One just arriving and finding themselves with no +1/+1 Counters on them because you cast them for Zero mana and poof they die. Liliana also flips! 

Flipping on Offense and Defense:

One of the best times to Flip Liliana is on the defense. Liliana could block(even the biggest creatures your opponents throw at you) ,you sacrifice a crit and she bounces to the aether and comes back. Not only did you save her from being dead as a creature you also activated her spark!Oh and yeah your opponents creature is still considered blocked! You may not get the benefits of the lifelink but heck you have a planeswalker ready to work hard for you on your coming turn.

The same principle applies when she is on the offensive since she could be targeted by instant speed removal or be killed by a blocker.In response to anything targeting her as a creature you could just sacrifice a non-token creature and Liliana is saved! She can then be used as a planeswalker in your 2nd main phase.Plus that 2/2 zombie she just came back with could defend her. Whoa! 

Once Liliana turns into her nastier form expect a lot of things to go in your favor in an instant. If your opponent still has some cards in his or her hand at this point then you could go ahead and target it with discard. Both you and your opponent will discard a card but while it is a disadvantage to your opponent it would turn out be a great advantage for you since you are in control of a powerful necromancer who loves a well-stocked graveyard.

If in case you need a creature to come back right away you could use Lili's necromantic second ability and do just that. Since this is an X ability it will eat up her Loyalty points you could reanimate a 1 mana cost creature or a 2 mana cost creature right at the time that she manifests on the battlefield.Just make sure that the creature you are getting back is worth it since she would die if you choose a 2 mana cost creature.

Black never seems to have a lack of monsters in those mana costs. Death's Shadow is one example for one mana. I mean it is a possible 13/13. Sangrophage or even a Myr Superion could take up the 2 mana slots! A 3/3 or a 4/5 is not bad at all. Sarcophage mainly takes a bite of your life total each upkeep and as for the Myr Superion reanimating it with this ability bypasses that whole "I have to be cast by mana produced by creatures only" clause.

And to make matters worse if you do get to Liliana's ultimate ability you basically have undying creatures that return on the next end step when they die. Meaning if they died attacking they come back as your defenders on your end of turn and if they died defending they will be available attackers on your next turn because they would return at your opponents end of turn. If you even have creatures with ETB effects like Liliana's Specter or Ravenous Rats then you would also take advantage of those effects as well. All in all it will be bad news when Liliana hits her ultimate since creatures would be able to die and come back.

The other aspect of this emblem is that you could "steal" your opponents creatures by killing them with a spot removal and then the emblem automatically reanimates their corpses and makes them your loyal servants.Think Grave Betrayal only much better since an Emblem doesn't get affected by a naturalize or anything else for that matter.

So who is ready to Turn Liliana? I know I am. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"Nettle Drone EDH: Nettled to Death"

"Nettle Drone EDH: Nettled to Death"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Nettle Drone is simply one of those cards that scream combo at you right from the start. Combo! And one particular infinite damage loop comes to mind as I looked at it even more.

There is an existing combo of Ashnod's Altar(Or another sac outlet) + Enduring Renewal + Ornithopter/Memnite/Phyrexian Walker that grants its controller infinite colorless mana. On it's own this is already a powerful effect but it needs a 4th piece to make it lethal. Enter Impact Tremors and you could deal 1 damage to each of your opponents for each creature that comes into play under your control.

The Combo is simple , sacrifice your Ornithopter/Memnite/Phyrexian Walker to Ashnod's Altar and Enduring Renewal returns it to your hand. You could cast the Ornithopter/Memnite/Phyrexian Walker again and again. Hence the infinite damage with Impact Tremors and now another card that could do the trick is Nettle Drone who seems happy to ping someone for one damage and then untap whenever you cast a colorless spell. It so happens that Ornithopter/Memnite/Phyrexian Walker are all colorless Artifact spells that you could cast for free whenever they return to your hand.

While Nettle Drone is unimpressive in Standard there is a definite place for it in EDH decks that are already using this combo. A redundancy that could still get you a win when the lone Impact Tremors in your deck is beyond your reach. Make your opponents feel the pain as you nettle away at their life totals one ping at a time.

As an upgrade to this killer combo. X casting creatures like Endless One and Hangarback Walker could be used in combination with Enduring Renewal alone. Simply cast these creatures for X and they die once they hit the battlefield. At which point they return to your hand because of Enduring Renewal, Eliminating the need for a sacrifice outlet. Less combo pieces mean more chances of pulling of a Nettle Drone death. A little more pricey but hey it will get the job done.

And speaking of redundancy Molten Nursery could  also fill in the role of Nettle Drone in the combo as well. It doesn't die to Doom Blade. And might even survive the ton of enchantment hate in current EDH settings. I am excited at the options that has sprung up in such a short time. Time to ping away!


Writers Note:
A big thank you to Judge Ian Mervin Go for the idea about the existing X creatures Endless One and Hangarback Walker .

I would also like to thank the Unknown user who commented about using Molten Nursery. I am sorry I don't know your name but thank you for your comment.

I am extremely happy about how this post was read and accepted by the Pinoy Magic Community. I love the exchange of ideas. Thank you for your support everyone.

"Anak ng Tinapa!"

"Anak ng Tinapa!"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

A patient came in one day and when we examined him found him to have an elevated BP. I asked him if he was able to maintain his hypertensive medication which he said he did. So normally we would ask him to rest and come back the next morning to repeat his BP. 

The following morning he still had the same BP. He became upset and started saying that in the province he only ate fish. "Puro tinapa na nga lang ako eh." Bingo!

It clicked and we found out what was happening.

Needless to say this patients diet consisted of extremely good salted fish for 6 months straight! Good for all his salty cravings. Not so good for his BP.

Monday, October 5, 2015

"Literally Assholes for Days"

"Literally Assholes for Days"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

I work in a Pre-Employment clinic during the day and boy do I see a lot of assholes.Seriously, I Literally see assholes. I ask patients to bend over , spread their buttocks wide so I can examine that hole in the middle. To boldy go where no man has gone before.For various reasons.

And probably the weirdest part of my job is that when I have done with a rectal exam some of my patients would turn their heads around still spreading their butt cheeks and tell me: "Thank you Doc" with a smile on their faces. A freaking wide smile!

I find it weird because of two things:1) They might have actually enjoyed it and 2) You don't actually thank someone who just poked you in the butt...unless you go back to #1.

Then there is all the Devirginized jokes. "Masakit Doc. First time"
Some of the Anal Sphincters that I felt would prove that otherwise.

Then there are some patients who nervously look at me even before they go in to the examining room. I think they usually look at my fingers. Tough luck. I have big hands so I have big fingers. The patient usually looks at the other doctors as well and again no such luck. Even the lone female Doc in the clinic also has big hands!

These scenarios repeat day in and day out. So much so that when one of them doesn't happen like clock work I get mildly surprised. Or I assume that I already have old patients coming in that day. I don't think there would be any more surprises left for them.

Just the usual request of..."Tuwad po."

"Pauper Kings:Eldrazi Pauper Stompy"

"Eldrazi Pauper Stompy"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

The Eldrazi are running freely on Zendikar and despite best efforts of the allied planeswalkers they remain a big threat on the plane. 

And now back to some more Standard Pauper. Today's decks simply feeds into one of those needs that we had ever since we were early planeswalkers. The Ability to cast big creatures and attack with them too. I present to you Eldrazi Pauper Stompy!

15 x Forests
4 x Evolving Wilds
4 x Fertile Thicket
23 Lands

4 x Blisterpod
4 X Leaf Gilder
4 x Whisperer of the Wilds
4 x Kozileks Channeler
4 x Ruin Processor
2 x Eldrazi Devastator
22 Creatures

4 x Call the Scions
4 x Swell of Growth
4 x Epic Confrontation
3 x Scour from Existence 
15 Spells

This mono green deck also features Evolving wilds to thin out your deck as well as the awesome Common land Fertile Thicket to lower your risk of not getting any land. 

Eldrazi Pauper Stompy basically contains 2 kinds of creatures. Mana Accelerators and The Heavy Hitters. 

For the heavy hitters you have Kozileks Channeler(4/4) , Ruin Processor(7/8) and Eldrazi Devastator (8/9) representing the meanest looking cards you will ever see in Standard Pauper today. Eldrazi Devastator even has trample and would make short work of any blocker if you are able to cast it. By my calculations it could be as early as turn 5! A turn 5 Devastator!

You also have Blisterpod , Leaf Gilder and Whisperer of the Wilds as mana accelerators to fuel out your common brood monsters.Kozileks Channeler also does a double duty as mana producer and attacker when needed.And believe me when you are facing a rush deck that could be stabilized when you have a 4/4 tentacled monster in play it would make you want to kiss this card. Well almost. Unless tentacles are your thing.

The ideal play for this deck would be as follows

Turn#1 Play 1 land , Blisterpod
Turn#2 Play 1 land - 2 land , Leaf guilder , attack with blisterpod(Hope it dies) - 3 mana available 
Turn#3 Play 1 land - 3 land , Leaf guilder , Assuming that Blisterpod is killed - cast Kozileks Channeler for 5 mana- 6 mana available next turn 
Turn#4 Play 1 land - 7 mana available - Scour existence or Ruin Processor.

Now the 4th turn is where the action gets really heavy and what you cast depends on your assessment of the current battlefield situation. Is the cost clear to cast my Eldrazi now? Do I need to wait and see what he will be casting next turn to Scour it from Existence? Do I delay my opponents mana by exiling a land with the same spell? Decisions Decisions. Whatever you decide though it will all start on the 4th turn.

On the early turns make sure that you are attacking with your Blisterpod. Those early points of damage would be telling later on since opponents maybe bloodied enough by this little creature. If an opponent lets the damage through early you could punish them by pumping the Blisterpod with a Swell of Growth for 2 more points of damage and even faster mana acceleration.

Call the Scions is another mana acceleration spell that lets you have more Scions on the ground for early attack or blocking. 

Epic Confrontation is the only other removal in this deck. Use it early to ensure that Blisterpod dies and you get to take one of their annoying creatures or use it late when you have you have your big hitters on the ground to take out one of their big blockers even before attackers are declared.

Will these common titans make the cut in Standard Pauper? I will sure as hell try. Stomping someone Eldrazi style.

"Amlodipine:how should I call thee?"

"Amlodipine:how should I call thee?"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

Confusion  , Fear and Panic are things that do not mix well but they often exist in patients when they are about to be asked about their health.So when I ask patients:

Me: Ano po ang iniinom ninyong maintenance para sa inyong Hypertension?

I expect this response:

"Amlodipine po. 5mg"

Instead I get these answers:

The Switch:

"Amdolipine po!(With feelings ang pagsabi)"

"Amplodipine ata yun..."

The Overdose:

"Amlodipine...500mg po."

The Combo:
"Losadipine yung binigay sa akin na bago..."

"Amlodisartan!(With feelings!)

Sometimes the confusion , fear and panic belong to me since
this is the first time I heard about these drugs...makes me wonder if there is a brand name out there that I haven't come across or a new protocol  haven't heard about.

Turns out we all end up confused till I whip out my Mims.