Tuesday, September 26, 2017

"Pauper Kings: Boros Dinopaupers -Going Small and Fast"

"Pauper Kings: Boros Dinopaupers -Going Small and Fast"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

In basketball certain line ups are made for blitzkrieg assaults to the basket and there are line ups meant for the long and slow game. While it is always tempting to play large Dino's for the end game they can be a bit hard to cast but I will still be trying making a big fatties Dino deck soon.

As an aggro player by heart though I wanted to try my hand at creating a Dinosaur deck that focused on speed and aggression. So here are the Boros Dino paupers.

4 x Evolving Wilds
9 x Plains
9 x Mountains
22 Lands

4 x Tilonalli's Knight
4 x Kinjalli's Caller
4 x Frenzied Raptor
4 x Nest Robber
4 x Territorial Hamerskull
4 x Raptor Companion
24 creatures

3 x Swashbuckling
3 x Magma Spray
4 x Djeru's Renunciation
4 x Cartouche of Zeal

To begin I would like to talk about the 2 non-dino creatures of the deck. The first is the Tilonalli's Knight who has a dino matters ability. It becomes a 3/3 fattie when it attacks and you have a dino in play. Not bad for 2 mana right? 

Also as you might have noticed the highest costed cards here are in the 3 mana range.The deck already has a low curve but this cost can even be lowered to 2 mana if you already have a Kinjalli's Caller played on your first turn.And so the 2nd non-dino creature of the deck.

While there are no 1 drop dinosaurs(so far) with the Kinjalli's Caller out you could cast 3CMC with 2 mana and 2 CMC with 1 mana. While the caller in itself is not aggressive having dinosaurs come in early might spell the difference in your victories with this deck.Nest Robber and Raptor Companion as 1 drops. Sarap!

With the exception of Nest Robber none of these other creatures have haste and what is an aggressive deck without creatures who can attack the moment they land on the battlefield right? So I included Swashbuckling and Cartouche of Zeal to make those dinos snap heads the moment they come into play. Oh and the +2/+2 and +1/+1 stat pump helps a lot too. Especially in the 4th or 5th turn when opponents could drop bigger creatures for defense.

There are also sligh elements incorporated here to ensure maximum damage from the Dino's each time. Magma spray for early blockers , Cartouche of Zeal makes sure one creature doesn't block(no matter the size) , Territorial Hammerskull  taps another creature when it attacks , Djeru's Renunciation also does the same thing to two creatures or if you do not need to use it can be cycled away to draw something a little more useful. Another dino perhaps?

All in all speed is the key to this deck so hit hard and hit early. I am looking to playing this soon. Thanks for reading and keep on brewing.

Monday, September 25, 2017

"Playground Hobby Cafe Ixalan PR Event: Looking for Dinos , Finding Pirates."

"Playground Hobby Cafe Ixalan PR Event: Looking for Dinos , Finding Pirates."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

To anyone who has read any of my articles this month it was quite clear what I wanted to get out of this Pre-release. Dinos! and lots of them! But if there is anything that I learned in all of the PR's that I have attended  , it is to expect the unexpected.

I have been reading on all the things I can do about dinos ever since the spoilers came out but lo and behold all the ones that I got were all too few and was spread over all the colors that playing made them was absolutely not viable.

My PR card was the awesome Vraska's Contempt and so I said if I got a lot more of these cards then I might play Dimir. So I opened my packs and got a Walk the Plank and Contract Killing. My latter packs would give me 3 copies of Cancel and 2 copies Mark of the Vampire. So I had to look at the tribe that would take advantage of this most. Pirates.

Daring Saboteur , Fell Flagship and Search for Azcanta made their appearances.A pair of the new "Mesmeric fiend" in Kitesail Freebooter as well and single Duress.

I was feeling more like in my element as the cards kept on coming. Beside me was Aki who opened a mythic PR kit that had rares and mythics in each pack! He also had Gishath as his PR card! I had no time to be envious though as I was looking at the cards that was dealt to me and felt a certain excitement. In front of me was my friend Cesar from Medschool and he too was going the pirate route. Argh me mateys!

A few test plays with Aki revealed certain weaknesses of my 40 card deck , mainly it had the habit of dying to Boros Dinos that kept on coming. I wanted to see dinos , I just didn't want them to be snapping at my head. I encouraged Aki that despite the temptation to use all of the mythics at his disposal not to push it and stick with colors that he can support. I am glad he listened as I would observe his progress over the 4 round PR.

Round 1 - Azorius Dino Control vs Dimir Pirates.

I encountered a new player and he kept asking me questions if he can do certain things and his unfamiliarity with some of the cards in the set showed because he admitted that he started playing with an EDH deck. Although through out the game he would pressure me enough for those 2 games , I sense that the guy would be a lot better the next time we met.

He was frustrated with the 3 Cancels that I had because I was able to foil his plans. I was so happy for Search for Azcantan in this round as it appeared twice and I was able to dig through my deck for answers.

Result: Dimir Pirates in 2 games. 1-0

Round 2 - Merfolks vs. Dimir Pirates

It was Roger and me this time and I was in trouble. The tribal might of the merfolk would be seen here. Surviving through my removals and counters. 

I also drew walk the plank which the merfolk would just flip the finger to as they can basically swim away when you make them walk the plank.

Sensing defeat I just turned to asking Roger about card prices in the shop which was still better than the other shops that were neared to me in Eton. Plus they had 2 full binder of EDH staples that I wanted to raid. Sigh. Another time.

I shook hands with Roger who would eventually got 4-0 here and earn the shirt! 
Result: Merfolk flipping me their middle flippers - 1-1 

Round 3 - The Smiling One vs. Dimir Pirates.

I have to apologize my opponents as I do not really remember his deck. What I remember was that in Game 1 I was able to cast a Kitesail Freeboter curve to a One with the Wind and then to Mark of the Vampire which gave me a 5/6 flying Life linker and the game was over pretty much after that.

I still had bad memories facing Mark of the Vampire in a previous PR. Sleepy and annoyed at how strong it was back then. I learned from that though and would not pass this up as this was what a deck like mine needed. I can take as much damage as I want early but make up for it with a big creature like this in the end game.

I was able to control game 2 as well.

Result: Shoke hands with Smiling One. Dimir Pirates 2-1.

Round 4 - Boss round! Naya Gishath vs. Dimir Pirates.

If I keep on mentioned Kitesail Freeboter it is because this card has saved me a lot of times in the Pre release. And when I cast it to discover that my opponent can actually cast a massive Gishath on me I was so lucky to know about it but I felt kind of doomed. I had to see it through though and having identical 2-1 records only one of us would be 3-1 by the end of the round.

This time around no Search for Azcatan for me. Instead it was Opt that would allow me to save the game. I got hold of one of my Cancels and held on to it as my opponent curved into the Gishath. I breathed a sigh of relied when I was able to say no to the giant monster. I think my opponent was taken aback by this because I assume he used Gishath for his two wins. It was another workhorse of mine , Dire Fleet Interloper that did that trick as I was able kill his creatures with my removal efficiently.

Game 2 and a Duress showed me that Gishath was still coming for me. All my opponent was missing was a Forest and I would be in big trouble. I drew a Cancel. I waited as he knew that I would have the Cancel in my hand but he risked it after a few turns and I was still able to say no. Twice in the round. I can only be as lucky.

I was able to win with an unblocked Daring Saboteur with the Fell Flagship out as my opponent clogged his side his side of the battlefield with blockers.I had to kiss this card as I would not have won otherwise.

Result: Gishath Naya Dinos 2-2 , Dimir Pirates 3-1.

This was my best record in a PR for awhile and this really made my weekend. Working almost 16 hours a day and acquiring losing streaks in EDH games built up a lot of frustration and stress but at least today I can revel in my pirate victory.

Congratulations Playground Hobby Cafe for another successful PR event. I am looking forward to the next ones where we can just see familiar places in comfortable , well maintained surroundings. Even Plague Lords love playing in Finer places.

Monday, September 18, 2017

"Gishath , Suns Avatar: Naya Dinos Arise!"

"Gishath , Suns Avatar: Naya Dinos Arise!"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Nothing makes you feel like a little boy again than the sight of dino's and those dino's fighting each other. Magic seems to have captured this very special moment for a little boy and have printed dino cards that have a lot of big monster fans anticipating Ixalan's release.

The quite impressive Gishath Sun's Avatar is perfect as the Dinosaur Commander for all these big fatties.

So for Naya colors (R/G/W) and 5 colorless mana you can summon the mighty Gishath. A looming 7/6 Dino Avatar that has Trample , Vigilance and Haste.

For Naya who has green in it's colors ramping up has never been a problem and the direct impact that Gishath brings to the battlefield is palpable. It attacks immediately with haste  , it can trample combat damage even when blocked and it also has vigilance meaning it can play defense after it has taken a big chunk our of your opponents life totals.

And it's triggered ability is a Dino lovers dreams come true. You get to look at the top of you library for each point of combat damage that was dealt to a player. So a maximum of 7 and a minimum of 1 if your opponent has blockers but cannot totally stop Gishath.

So you get to look at cards and put any number of dinosaurs into play from among them and the rest of the cards on the bottom of your library in any order.

A Strionic Resonator let's you do this revealing and putting on the battlefield a second time too so think of the possibilities. 

The other fun thing is that you could control the order that your dino's could enter the battlefield.

You could have  Verdant Sun's Avatar come into play first and all the rest of the dino's that follow it will give you a ton of life if you are in the red from all the other players attacking you.

Have Rampaging Ferocidon come into play as well you could trigger enrage when another dino comes in on Rampaging Raptors for card draw or Bellowing Aegisaur to make your dino's even bigger with a +1/+1 counter on them when it gets enraged.Ranging Raptors gives you more lands. Sun-Crowned Hunters burns each opponent for 3 every time you poke it.

And maybe have Raging Swordtooth enter too when you have Enrage dino's already in play. He gets to ping everyone of his kin for 1 of course. 

Thundering Spineback can also come into play giving other Dino's +1/+1 in buffs as a dino lord here and now you have a massive army at your disposal with just one Gishath attack.

Burning Sun's Avatar can also come into play and trigger one last dino. At this point each of those dino's that have come before it could be your target.And those are a lot of great targets. Dino torture for the win!

You should be able to look at your opponents faces and see the blood draining from them as you plop a Dinosaur one by one , each bringing something to the table. Until they can foresee the carnage that will be upon them on the next turn.A Regisaur brings haste to all of your dino's and a 3/3 "raptor" as well. So I am sure opponents would not be looking forward to your next turn. Especially if they do not have cards like Rout or Aetherize in their hands.

Now all we need is a some sort of Dinosaur "Recruiter" so we can stack our own libraries in our favor and we are all set.None has been spoiled so far as of this writing but I am keeping my fingers crossed for one. Are you doing it too? Good. The more the better.

So are you excited for Naya Dino's? I know I am. 

"Axis of Mortality:AKA matutuyot din ang flower mo"

"Axis of Mortality:AKA matutuyot din ang flower mo"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

One of the things that people are on the look out for in a new set such as Ixalan is a card that can alter that state of current formats may it be in Standard , Modern or EDH.

Axis of Mortality is one of those cards that scream multiplayer magic right at you and you should not fail to listen to it's call least it be your opponent who plays the enchantment first.

For 6 mana , 2 Plains and 4 colorless you get a white enchantment that would affect the entire board regardless if you are playing 1v1 or multiplayer EDH.

"At the beginning of your upkeep you may have two players exchange life totals."

Let us have that all sink in for a moment. During your upkeep you literally decide the fates of everyone in your hands. 

This enchantment lets you exchange life totals. So let us say an opponent attacked and almost killed another opponent or you , reducing your or that other players life total to 1. In a cruel twist of fate you could target yourself and that aggressor exchanging life points. The aggressor could then find him or herself at the end of some really good game ending  moves from any opponent. A pestilence or spark spray never looked so deadly.

You could also try and save that other player for political reasons. Maybe that person is controlling/preventing every other player from attacking you or has important card drawing cards like Howling Mine or Dictate of Kruphix in play that directly benefits you. Whatever the reason you could save that player and reduce your least favorite players life to the lowest possible life on the entire battlefield.

Pretty strong stuff. I would probably just play the card to be able to say things like."O ayan tuyot na flower mo...ikaw fresh na ulit."

Yeah. That is my entire purpose for playing Axis of Mortality. Do you have any other reason for playing this enchantment? 

"3 things I have seen this week September 2017 #4:Books 2"

"3 things I have seen this week September 2017 #4:Books 2"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

My wife and talked about going to the book fair in MOA last Sunday(September 17 2017.) It would be the last day of the event and I was thinking of what treasures we might find in the bins of books. And in a not surprising Snorlax move , my wife requested that we just sleep in for the day. I said goodbye to the books I would own but I did enjoy sleeping again comfortably snuggled with my beloved pillows. So what did I see this week? Mostly from facebook and when I looked up when I was lying flat on my back.

1) A friends complaint.

So one of my best friends Ved actually went to the Bookfair and spent a total of 15 minutes there. He spent more time looking for parking at about an hour or so. It made me thankful that my Snorlax wife actually went all Snorlax on me.

2) A friends find.

Rowella another friend who got to hunt for books in the bookfair showed off her finds and they were awesome. It made me wish I could book hunt. Ah the joys of finding precious books that people might have overlooked or never thought to look for. Made me nostalgic about that time my pregnant wife and I rummaged through boxes of books in Booksale in SM Marilao.Time well spent.

3) My own trove.

I looked up today and I saw that I had a pile of unread books from the last time we actually bought tons of them. It made me happy because I still had these unread gems. Now if I can only find the time to squeeze them into. Sigh.

Yeah. I still see even when I am comfortably lying on my back.

"Midweek Magic September 2017 #34: Elementals Vs. Dragons"

"Midweek Magic September 2017 #34: Elementals Vs. Dragons"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

A game of magic can have both extremely satisfying and frustrating moments. Usually rolled into just one game. This happened last week but I just got around to writing it now because of my new schedules.New schedules!!!! Whew! 

(Oh and I was trying not so hard to not be sad because one of my friends is resigning and I wanted to play as many decks against him as possible before he goes.)

So sad thoughts aside I again found myself in a three way battle with Ram , Yo and Jus. They were running these decks , Mono Blue Control , Draconic Dominance and Pussies! More on the pussies on a future Midweek Magic.(on the next one actually).

I was using my old faithful Omnath , Locus of Rage and got the rare chance of controlling Ram for a change by destroying his 3 existing Islands. For some reason Yo and his normally efficient pussies was not developing a proper mana base. So it was Jus and those dragons I love to save the day. He was able to summon a Scion of the Ur Dragon and with an Utvara Hellkite and several dragons created massive damage and more dragons to hurt me on the next turn. I think it was 13 dragons in total.6 were going to play defense.

I was down to 18 life at this point but I would be saved by a Mwonvuli Tracker who enabled me to fetch a Liege of the Tangle and I was able to Swiftfoot boots it after playing it , it dealt damage and I was able to put  Awakening counters on all 14 of my existing lands. All of them were 8/8. I was able to attack Jus with them and even with the massive dragon army I was able to squeak in 4 8/8's that finished him. This was the satisfying part of the game for me. Finally able to win with the Liege of the Tangle , a foil one too which had been languishing in one of my boxes for 7 years because I had no one to play with. 

"My Liege!"

The frustrating part came a few turns after when Ram was able to drop his 4th Island in play and promptly Washed out all of my big creatures. Leaving me both creature less and Landless. Talk about a massive turn around. 

It was only a matter of time before Yo and his pussies got to churning metal and more cats to kill me. Oh well. What's another pussy kill after all. I am getting used to it by now. All those lethal scratches.

Friday, September 15, 2017

"3 things I have seen this week September 2017 #3 : Books"

"3 things I have seen this week September 2017 #3 : Books"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

Books. A big part of who I am and will always be a part of my life. So I was surprised at the things that I saw this week and though disappointed I know that I will recover.

1) 4 books.

Asap Science is a youtube channel and they had a video on averages. They said that the average person reads at least 4 books a year. So I looked at the calendar. It was already September and I have not read a single book for the year! Wow. I never thought I was this below average with all the books that I have. It doesn't count if you don't read it I guess. Time to rectify that.

2) Unfinished tales.

One of the piles on our Loft holds my cards and my books. Recently my wife bought me a copy J.R.R Tolkiens unfinished tales and I found it lying there when I was in my brewers madness mode looking for cards. And so it is my quest to read this book. Finally.

3) National Bookstore...where some people don't know books.

It was a sad day when my daughter and I went hunting for Lemony Snickett's Series of Unfortunate Events at a National bookstore branch at an SM that rhymes with Borth Pedsa. 

The customer service was so busy talking to someone on the phone that I had to wait for her to finish and when she got to talk to me I told her the name of the book and she said that that did not have the bundle of books and she pointed to the shelves behind her. Ito lang po yung bundles namin.

I said na kahit na di bundle kasi we can buy it per piece if needed. She didn't even look at the computer that was in front of her before she gave me this info. So I asked her to do so although I did not trust her to give me any useful info since I was there there previous week looking for a Manix Abrera comic book and they said they didn't have any in stock and when I went looking for it they had a ton of them near the exit. 

Long story short the CS pointed me to another lady who wanted to know what kind of book Lemony Snickett's Series of Unfortunate Events. I would understand if it was one of those rare books that you need to dust off somewhere but this was a fairly known books series and it even had a movie. 

So I was passed on to someone in charge of Young Adult and Childrens books who was also unable to locate the said series. It was at this point that I said that I would rather buy my daughter some other book and will be bringing my money to somewhere where they know their books or at least know how to properly locate it on a computer.

Oddly enough when there was still a Branch at the Annex of SM Borth Pedsa all you had to do was name a book and the lady there would gladly point to you where exactly it was and I found that amazing. Given the place was smaller than the bigger main branch but still you have to know where a book is especially if it isn't some arcane book.


"Doc In , Doc Out September 2017#4 : Dennis"

"Doc In , Doc Out September 2017#4 : Dennis"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

When people ask for medicine in the clinic they are usually asked to sign in a couple of things on the dispense sheet. One of which is their chief complaint. Normally you read things like Abdominal pain and headache but this one lady wrote something that was new.

Chief complaint(CC): Dennis

Hmmmm. Maybe she was having a bad headache but she would rather write Dennis in there because he was actually the one causing her the headache? Dennis the Menace indeed.

We would need to ask her about that the next time she comes in and writes the same thing.

Monday, September 11, 2017

"Raindrop (no, not the song lyric)"

"Raindrop (no, not the song lyric)"
Alessandria Venice R. De leon

Drip drop. The first drop of water resonated on the balcony's handles. I disregarded it, thinking that it was just the aircon. I continued having dinner and watching Netflix with my mom. She turns and says to me, "Anak, if this keeps up, baka walang pasok bukas!" with a glint of excitement in her eyes. She's excited because she'll get to hug and kiss me the whooole day. And order me around, but let's put that aside shall we? A faint sense of hope occupied my thoughts. Maybe school will be cancelled. It's a fifty-fifty for me most of the time. I'll be happy because I don't have to wake up early and take a freezing shower but at the same time, I'll be sad because I don't get to see my best friend. But then again, I will have more time to prepare my report, prepare for that contest I joined, and do everything I need to do! It's a joy, school being cancelled, to most children. I can't see why however. A day of school is what it is. The sooner you get through this day and then that day the sooner you'll get to the weekend! That's what I like to think anyway. Sometimes, with all the hustle and bustle of our lives, we don't realize that our crazy and often stressful Monday has just morphed into our exciting and often freeing Friday in the blink of an eye! Sometimes I feel like I'm being whisked all about throughout the week. 

Tip tap. I'm snapped out of my flight of ideas and back into the real world. I realize I haven't been eating my food or watching the movie. I also realize that a single drop of rain water has turned into three, no, ten, no, fifteen! Wait a minute, it's raining! And quite hard I may add. Our aircon is ambushed with incoming raindrops. Poor aircon, you never got a rest and now you're being assaulted by rain drops. And that's when the reason I'm writing this and not sleeping came. NO CLASSES FOR CALOOCAN. Mom scrolled nonchalantly on her phone. My eyes lit up like Christmas lights hanging on a balcony! NO SCHOOL! Oh I jumped for joy! But I was quickly brought down. I had to make sure, being the anxious and nervous worrywart that I am. I once remembered this one instance that I had not went to school, believing that there were no classes only to go to school the next day to find out that they all had a full day of class without me! Ever since that incident I always had to check twice. And believe me, a missed day of school cost me. But it was true this time, and that's why I'm here, typing, editing, thinking, and not sleeping! 

What a great weather to sleep in. I think I will!


"An Exercise In Futility"

"An Exercise In Futility"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Ang dami dami mong sinasabi
pero wala ka naman palang alam
Ang alam mo eh pumustura ng pumustura
sabay sabay lang sa mga mura

Di ko maintindihan ang punto
Di matatapos tapos na argumento
kung sino ang tama , kung sino ang mali
Eh kalokohan lang naman kasi puro naman bingi

Sisigaw ang isa at sisigaw din ang isa
Pataas ng pataas ang ihi hanggang kalawakan
Isang hakbang pa at isang hakbang pa
Aba eh tatama ka na sa paa ng Diyos Ama

Pero kahit na ano pa ang sabihin mo
Di naman nareremedyohan ang reklamo
Kasi puro lang putak ang ang alam ninyo
Pag nagkatulakan na anong silbi ng talak mo?

UHG , Quezon City. 09/12/2017 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

"EDH Restoration and Developmental program:A response to loss"

"EDH Restoration and Developmental program:A response to loss"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

For about 3 weeks now I have embarked on a very ambitious personal project and that is to restore all of my EDH decks and try and add some more to my original set.

I started out with a Skullbriar deck that I played mostly as a reanimator shell rather than fully taking advantage of Skullbriars +1/+1 piling on itself abilities. At least it was like that in the beginning. Most people who I got to play with still associate me with my original Golgari deck but I have turned my attention elsewhere now that I have a stable playing group.

Initially I aimed at making competitive modern decks for our Archenemy sessions and it was quite enjoyable because it proved that I can win and still have fun even with decks that I never thought I could play with. I was simply happy being able to pull off combos , play cards that were in stock for years until these glorious days where they had time to shine.

I initially had 18 EDH decks that were cannibalized for competitive pieces for my Modern decks and for the several Tiny Leaders decks that I made(including my favorite Skullbriar who had to undergo deck conversion). It became so bad that all I had left was 4 operational EDH decks. 

Momir Vig , Vorel of the Hull Clade , Zirilan of the Claw and Phenax ,God of Deception were the only commanders left. I seldom got to play these 4 commanders but I got inspired again by two things , by an awesome Omnath , Locus of Rage deck that I fought with my brother from another mother Mark Abude and the realization that in my playgroup despite being gutted of its Mana rocks and other Lands , Phenax was still able to win.

I also wanted to play EDH as much as possible as one of my most favorite opponents was going to resign at the end of this September. Ram if you are reading this I want to fight with all of my decks against you. And hopefully ascend them into their full and complete versions before you go. I always thought that we would still have a lot of play tests together but I guess that also comes to an end.

As of this writing I have finished decks 33 and 34. Teysa , Orzhov Scion and Bruuna , Light Alabaster. I simply could not help myself. Bruuna in particular was something that I have wanted to make for a long time. 

Now that 34 decks are now operational it is now time to play test and improve them. 34,000 individual cards boggle my mind and I am thankful that I have the capability to make all of them possible.

"Midweek Magic September 2017 #33: When Omnath fell short"

"Midweek Magic September 2017 #33: When Omnath fell short"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Recently I have been having a streak of losses. It comes with the territory as everyone around me has leveled up their different commander 2017 decks and I have decided to make a lot of experimental builds for various commanders that take a beating out of the more established decks that my playgroup has.

So far I have been pummeled by Dragons and Pussies. I had limited exposure to the vampires because I died early in one game but Edgar Markov is deadly even when he is not on the battlefield. I have had no chance to battle Inalla and the wizards but I don't look forward to that as well.

Yo in particular has been consistently winning with strong plays with Steel Pussies that attack early for 5 damage and in the end game control and get rid of enchantments and artifacts in it's way. I have been on the receiving end of a well armed cat way too many times.

When Jus said "I-fist ko itong si Silumgar , drifting death"

Our group with the dirty minds laughed. He meant that he will use the fist of the suns ability to cast Silumgar but we pictured him shoulder deep into the nether regions of the Blue black dragon.

I also died to Jus and his Utvara Hellkite assaults. Imagine having 8 more flying 6/6 dragons about to attack me. It was the first time that I got to use the Liege of the Tangle in an EDH game and I had 15 reanimated lands that had to just kill Jus in a turn or he would be coming for me.

Ram who I have managed to control in this game with a Terrastodon that destroyed his 3 Islands earlier now recovered into 4 islands and used Wash Out to return my entire army to my hand. It was already getting late and I supposed I could have put up more of a fight but with a Balan and a Monstrous Fleecemane Lion and 13 life due to a Quietus spike in the face I decided that fighting would be futile and I died at the hand of pussies again.

Omnath did fall short but he does still leave a scar on my playgroups minds as being the sort of Commander that you need to control or things could get out of hand pretty fast.

"Ripjaw Raptor: Eating Brains"

"Ripjaw Raptor: Eating Brains"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

So apparently making a Ripjaw Raptor makes you smarter or at least gives you more ideas. In any case once you trigger it's enrage ability you get to draw a card.

Card advantage has traditionally been given to cards of the blue persuasion so I was happy to see this on a green card. A 4 mana creature that also happens to have a 4/5 body. 

No matter how you look at it this dino was meant to attack , take damage and let you draw a card.

Of course there would be several ways to trigger enrage and I wrote 3 separate articles on how you could do this. You could read them somewhere in this page as well.

I just like the idea of having a Honden of Infinite Rage and you have an extra draw on your upkeep with the Ripjaw Raptor.Or you could use this other card. Rile. Now you net two cards for the price of a single Red Mana! 

Or like I said you could just attack and leave the choice up to your opponent. And the choices are as follows:

1)  He or she lets you deal the 4 damage and you bring him closer to death but have no card draw.

2) He or she blocks with a weaker creature , that creature dies and you get to draw a card. Removing a future blocker and maybe drawing another Dino finisher or Lightning Strike.

3)He or she blocks with a bigger creature , Ripjaw Raptor dies but you still get a card which could be the next dino that you will be casting. Maybe another Ripjaw Raptor.

Or they can just Doomblade the Raptor while it is attacking and just negate  your  future card advantage.Oh well. Of all the scenarios that doomblade one is the one I want to see the least.

Of course 3 out of 4 scenarios is not really bad. A 75% chance of drawing a fresh card isn't really bad at all, Go Dino's! Time to brew that R/G deck now. Thank you for reading and keep on brewing.

"Doc In , Doc Out September 2017#3: "Three"

"Doc In , Doc Out September 2017#3: "Three"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Me: Anong Lihira po ang pinakamalinaw? Anong number po?"

Patient: 3 po Doc.

Me: Ok. Pabasa po.

Patient: "3"

Me:Ok.Malinaw nga.

"3 things I have seen this week September 2017 #2:Doctor's Scheds"

"3 things I have seen this week September 2017 #2:Doctor's Scheds"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Clinical schedules that fit you are a God send and Doctors are always on the look out for them. This week I saw things that made me frown and made me happy.

1) Cheaters...

So what happens when you have an 8 hour shift and you come in at the 5th hour of said shift and go home an hour before you are actually supposed to go out. Well nothing really. Until you get caught. I find it unfair that some doctors in the industry do this and get away with it. 2 hours work and still get paid in full. I would understand being late once or twice because it would be an exception but if you do this consistently for 6 years every day of the week that you are on duty I think this is what you call a pattern. 

Of course they got caught and are now facing investigation. 6 years is a lot to backtrack but I will trust in the system.

2) Texters...

We are in need of relievers....the post would start and when I begin to look the schedules might as well have been on the moon because the distance seems to be so. When choosing duties there are certain things that you need to look for such as ease of travel , if you burn more fuel than you are actually going to earn then what is the point of going on that duty? Unless it was a medical mission then burning fuel and bringing something more than just yourself is the norm.

I have consistently said no to certain duties because of distance. There are just places where I cannot go.

3) The return to UHG. 

When Dra. Jing Escurel talked to me about the possibility of coming back to UHG I was ecstatic. I had to wait a full month and a half for it but now that it is confirmed I feel really thankful. It has always been my desire to go back to UHG and I am glad to have that desire granted. I look forward to all the things that I could do again.

Scheds are blessings don't be a curse on the people who hire you. Be fair and try to be on time and never tell them that you will make it even if you are in such a far away place that you cannot be physically present unless like Goku you can teleport instantaneously from one place to another.

And now that that is out of my system back to our regularly scheduled program.

"Optum/UHG Technohub: I said Goodbye for now and I meant it"

"Optum/UHG Technohub: I said Goodbye for now and I meant it"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Optum/UHG Technohub will always have a place in my heart as I consider myself one of the doctors who were a pioneer in the place. From Building N and then Building O I was one of the first to take care of patients and help the team improve. Defend nurses and clarify patients questions. I loved the place. Libre parking eh! but there was always something relaxing about the big buildings and sprawling parking lot.
I think I might have written a lot of zombie scenarios about the place.And a couple of ghost stories because the old Tourism at the back of building O would give you such inspiration.

When I lost the post March of 2015 it was a bad first year quarter along with the loss of Convergys at the end of 2014. I had to sadly turn over my ID badge and I asked if I can keep my Lanyard. The HR told me that I could and she was sure that I will be back in the place in no time. So I said goodbye for now and I meant it. In my heart of hearts I knew that this place would always have a connection with me.

So when Dra. Jing Escurel messaged me on facebook about the possibility of coming back I was ecstatic. It took about a month longer than I expected but I did not mind knowing that I would finally go back.

And so right now 12 midnight  , This 11th day of September 2017 I am officially back as a Doctor in Optum/ UHG Technohub. With rumors that Convergys might go back to ActiveOne hands early next year could it be that I would be gaining all that I have lost? I will keep my eyes open for that.

For now I am happy to finally be back.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Midweek Magic September 2017 #32:Savage Beating Reflections"

"Midweek Magic September 2017 #32:Savage Beating Reflections"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

I have often felt that when I play with my playgroup that each game becomes an Archenemy game regardless of what magic format we actually play. 

We play modern. I become the archenemy.
We play Chaos Multiplayer EDH I still become the archenemy.

I ought to be flattered because I am always considered a threat but there are times when I actually just want to play and not be in the sidelines. Did I cultivate this fear? Did I become a magnet for pain for trying all those weird decks? I might have.

Ram who has been out of action for almost 2 weeks came back and overwhelmed me with Prossh. A dragon combo deck that attacked and damaged with creatures sacrificed to Ashnods Altar. My Kefnet deck almost killed Ram with 15 Commander damage but it was not to be.

Jus who has been the designated police force and oppressive player in Rams absence also gave me a massive beating...of the mind. After cursing me with Fraying Sanity , I knew what came next from his deck with 5 open mana...Traumatize. I had 71 cards in my deck and heck. 1 ended up with one card in my Library during my upkeep. I was running a Narset EDH deck and I attacked with an empty Library. It was a suicide run I know but man that was Traumatizing indeed.

Which leads me here. I think I will be in this archenemy loop even with a weak deck. Time to accept my role then. Good hunting to me next week.

"Old-Growth Dryads:Win or Die trying."

"Old-Growth Dryads:Win or Die trying."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

One look at Old Growth Dryads and they seem like a really really huge liability. They allow each opponent to look for a basic land card and put it into play tapped. Not really a good idea in an EDH setting since you are basically accelerating everyone else except yourself.

Imagine if you play this on turn one and opponents already have an advantage. 

If you play it in a limited setting though it might work well for you but it has to be an aggro deck to take advantage of the single green mana and 3/3 fattie stats. 

I was doing the math , on turn 2 if you play another forest you could play 2 more Old Growth Dryads and deal 3 damage with the one you cast on turn one. 

On the next turn assuming that your opponent does not miss a land drop he or she would now have access to 4 mana! 

And the mass removals available? Bontu's last reckoning for black and Sweltering Sun's for Red is now ready to kill your potentially 9 damage Old Growth Dryads. Sigh.Fumigate is available next turn too.

Of course this is a possible scenario , your opponent could stabilize the board and sweep you. It could also be 2 more attacks with 3 3/3 creatures and the game could be finished by turn 4. 

I still like those odds.

"Sharingan Swayed"

"Sharingan Swayed"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Looking at me doesn't help
Saying the words drown me even more
And I say it is just too much 
Just standing here and looking at you

I walk bewildered after you look at me
it's dangerous I know
but like some sort of drug
I come back just really wanting more.

As much as I would want to say no
Nothing has ever kept me in this hold
Your eyes saying something and nothing
Your lips that keep on pouting and moving 

And mesmerized by the poetry of your grace
I stand here afraid.
One day I just might explode 
and just die as your slave.

Shaw 09/05 /2017

"Doc In , Doc Out September 2017#2: "Di po ako Diabetes."

"Doc In , Doc Out September 2017#2: "Di po ako Diabetes."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Me: May iba pa po ba kayong gamot na iniinom? Katulad po ng para sa Diabetes.

Patient: Di po ako Diabetes Doc.

Me:(Ako din po di din ako si Diabetes , sino po ba itong si Diabetes? Di ko po siya 
kilala.) Ok po.

"Midweek Magic September 2017 #31 -Brewers Madness Lucid Period"

"Midweek Magic September 2017 #31  -Brewers Madness Lucid Period"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

For almost two weeks now I have been on a quest , a personal one to restore each of the EDH decks that I gutted in my desire to have competitive Modern decks for our Archenemy games. I took lands and creatures and planeswalkers to end up with 6 decks that give everyone headaches but at this cost. My once 20 EDH decks were reduced to a mere 4 Operational decks.

I promised myself that I would restore them when Phenax despite being gutted of his lands and Mana stones continued to win game after game proving that you could have a strong EDH deck even without the bling.

It takes a lot of brain power to figure all the interactions and availability of card pieces that you have. As well as the long arduous task of looking for them in what seems to me like an endless row of box and binders. From the dresser in the new house , from my car , from under the stairs and from my old room in the Ancestral house.

It involved lugging around 2 heavy bags of cards and sleeving them in my preferred "plastic ng yelo" decks day in and day out whenever I had no paper work or patients.

And in the end of my Brewer's madness I have ended with 32 operational decks.With 9 more decks in different states of completion. I look at the 8 fatpacks in my car and I feel a little proud. At least those 32 are now filled with playable decks that I can enjoy again.

And my promise is to never break them again. Looking forward to all the fine tuning and games. 

Now on to the Brewer's Madness Lucid Period. It won't last very long.

"Sun-Crowned Hunters: Dino Torture for the Win Part 3."

"Sun-Crowned Hunters: Dino Torture for the Win Part 3."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

Thank you for reading the last installment of Dino torture for the win. The last 2 articles we looked at spells and pingers but in this last when we finish the list with Lands , Artifacts and Enchantments that can also enrage our favorite dino for the win.

Permanent 1 ping:
Honden of Inifinite Rage  - For 3 mana  , you only need one copy of this Legendary enchantment and off pinging you go every upkeep. It works to keep small creatures off your back even if you don't have the dino already in play.

Land Pingers:

Keldon Megaliths - 1R Hellbent 1 damage
Lands bring the pain too , the Keldon Megaliths just want you to have an empty hand that's all.

Barbarian Ring - R , threshold 1 damage to crit or player. 

How about that , the Keldon Megaliths wants you to have an empty hand and the Barbarian Ring wants you to have those cards in your graveyard for threshold.

I am sure you can have a fun time meeting all these requirements. Burn away.

Artifacts of pain:

Fireforgers puzzleknot - This little common from Kaladesh has an ETB for the ping and 
a second one for 2R activation. 

Rod of Ruin - 4 mana and costing 3 , tap 1 damage. Old school caning is best.

Staff of Nin - 6 Mana and a draw a per upkeep. You tap for 1 damage to target creature or player. The dino won't love it but you'd love it when it gives you the win.

Viridian long bow - The only equipment in this list cost 1 mana and 3 to equip. With this equipped to the Sun-Crowned Hunters it can just keep shooting itself on the foot if you have no other creature to equip it to that is. 

That image of a dino shooting a bow at it's own foot. Let me leave you with that. I like that weird image too. 

Thank you for reading. Keep on prodding that dino. 

"Sun-Crowned Hunters: Dino Torture for the Win Part 2."

"Sun-Crowned Hunters: Dino Torture for the Win Part 2."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

So in part 1 we took a look at the sorceries and instants that work well with Sun-crowned hunters already in play aka prodding the hell out of it.

Now we look at the creatures who love to burn other creatures for whatever reason that suits them but for our purposes it is just to annoy a dino for the win.

For this we limit our creatures to red and those that just deal exactly 1 damage. There are a lot of those who deal 2 or 3 damage but I don't really want the opponent accidentally killing our win condition Dino.

I could just put a Darksteel plate on the dino and just let it go berserk but then again this is looking for an alternate way of winning other than attacking. 

And so here are  our Pingers of choice:

Fireslinger - It burns us too but it burns our dino as well.

Mogg Fanatic - One of my most favorite goblins , it can attack and ping the dino for 3 damage. 

Prodigal pyromancer - 3 mana is a high price but heck , 1 ping to our dino!

Vithian stinger - 3 mana for the pinger and unearth too. It can serve even if it just died too.

Vulshok sorcerer - 3 mana pinger with Haste. I particularly like the haste here.

Spikeshot elder - The goblin is 1 mana ,  Another 3 mana , ping 1. If you have 9 mana that is 9 damage.

Triskelion and Walking Ballista - 1 ping  per 1 counter. 

With all these guys my favorite just has to be one Legend from Kamigawa:

Kumano , Master Yamabushi
pay 1R: 1 damage to target creature or player. Yeah. He is the perfect pinger for the Sun-crowned Hunter. Pay one by one and stop at the third activation at the end of an opponents turn and ping again on your turn for 3 activations. 6 mana is 9 damage.
Yeah! If the dino attacks and connects just once that's a very dead opponent.

I know I said that I would be limiting this to creatures that deal 1 damage but this creature was just to good to pass. Another dino.

Next article we look at other means to annoy our dino to victory.

Keep on prodding. I mean brewing and reading.May the Sun-Crown Hunters be on your side.

"Sun-Crowned Hunters: Dino Torture for the Win Part 1"

"Sun-Crowned Hunters: Dino Torture for the Win Part 1"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD

One of the common cards that stood out for me was the dinosaur Sun-crowned hunters. While I do not condone the torture of animals or humans in real life , there seems to be a subtheme in magic that benefits players for poking dinosaurs and so this article that takes advantage of this particular poking as a finishing move.

Time to look at the card. Sun-Crowned Hunters is a 6 mana creature , 4 colorless and 2 red. You get a 5/4 dino and those stats would be important for the tech.

So it has Enrage - whenever Sun-crowned Hunters is dealt damage , it deals 3 damage to target opponent.

When you look at it this normally would act as a deterrent for opponents not to burn it to death since it will still deal 3 damage even if it dies. 

Weaker blockers 3 power or less may stop it from hitting the opponent but Enrage acts like a Semi-afflict here , the dino gets damage and it gives a snapping beak bite for 3 damage. You make it angrier , it bites hard.

Of course you don't want a strategy to be dependent on your opponent so what if you could deal damage to your dino and have it deal 3 damage to your opponent instead? Sounds interesting right?

Magic has an abundance of spells that could do just that but I would like to focus on those that just deal 1 damage. We don't want the dino to die. We want it to be angry.

So for part 1 let us look at the sorceries and instants that would work well if we already have Sun-crowned hunters already in play:

1 damage spells:


Gut shot(Instant) -  You could pay 1 R or two life and in return 3 damage to an opponent. Sounds like a good trade off. 

Lava dart(Instant) - A red mana to ping 1 and then you sacrifice a mountain for it's  flashback and ping once more. Smells like 6 damage to me.

Spark spray(Instant) -  R and Cycling!

Geistflame(Instant) - R (with 3R flashback too).

Searing Touch(Instant) - R and 4 for Buyback. It reads a 5 mana ping each end of turn.

Release the Ants(Instant) - 1R , 1 damage and then clash! The joy of flipping a coin and probably getting this card back.

Spark Jolt(Instant) - 1R instnat , scry 1. To set up your next burn.


Scorching Spear (Sorcery) - R for 1!

Flame jab (Sorcery) - R and Retrace! Retrace of a land to the graveyard and R! Just perfect for when the board is a bit locked.

Zap (Sorcery) -  2R ,  1 damage Draw a card. The card replenishes itself even if it is a bit expensive.

Ok then. You have enough burn spells here to have a dino barbecue but be sure that you just make it angry and not totally cook it ok? With enough stimulation Sun-crowned Hunters would win the game for you. One ping at a time.  

Next article we look at Creatures that you could do the actual prodding with. 

Keep on prodding. I mean brewing and reading.