Friday, January 19, 2018

"Hazmat Suit(Used) - Toxic!"

"Hazmat Suit(Used) - Toxic!"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

In the real world we all have to deal with Toxic things , toxic people and toxic places. Not in the world of Magic get ready to deal with something so toxic that the mere touch of the card makes you lose 2 life.

Yup I am talking about the Hazmat suit(used). A 4 mana aura that gives enchanted creature +2/+1 and Menace. I think it causes the enchanted creature to mutate and well no one wants to block a creature coated in the luminescent green goo. I wouldn't want to touch it but of course if you attack with it as it's controller you'd have to tap to attack right? You need to be careful though even planeswalkers  such as ourselves are not immune to it's deadly radiation that a mere touch of skin or nail is enough for you to lose 2 life.

Imagine if you are only down to those 2 life points and you accidentally brush against your own mutant enchanted creature? Lethal!

So use at your own risk. You have been warned. Maybe next time you won't by at that Mad Scientists Garage sale.

"Extremely Slow Zombie:How sloooooooow can you goooooo?"

"Extremely Slow Zombie:How sloooooooow can you goooooo?"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

It has been a running joke that zombies are so slow. So slow that you could probably run rings around them if the zombie apocalypse ever happens. Nothing represents this more than the Unstable common card Extremely slow zombie.

Sure this guy is a 2 mana 3/3 Fattie but it deals it's damage last. It has last strike which the opposite of Firststrike. The good news is that this guy could survive any smaller creature but if it ever butts heads with a creature of the same size it just dies. Also if a creature has deathtouch it can kill this zombie before it even deals it's damage. That Last strike sure is slow but wait there is even more reasons to complain about how slow this guy is.

There are 4 versions of this card in the common slot(Thanks to my friend Ram who gave me a copy of each from this stash) that depict how slow it goes. Extremely Slow Zombie is so slow that it has to pass all 4 seasons before even finishing a single word. Brains. So how slow can he goooooo?

All 4 seasons long slow.Or as my wife puts it , anong petsa na eh wala pa? Yeah. It takes a lot of patience for this zombie to be able to hit you.

"Doc In , Doc Out Espesyal letter to patients: Decided to Go Home Edition."

"Doc In , Doc Out Espesyal letter to patients: Decided to Go Home Edition."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Dear Di Masyadong minamahal na pasyente,

Alam ko na minsan mahirap ang buhay. Maraming tawag at wala ka nang pahinga. Masama pa ang pakiramdam mo na di nakakatulong sa pagiging effective mo sa floor.Andito ako para tulungan ka. Promise.

Pero please wag kang pupunta sa clinic , dala mo na ang mga gamit mo , mainit ang ulo mo na magsasabing , "Puwede bang magpasent home?!" at tapos eh di ka makikinig sa mga sasabihin ng mga nurses at magiinisist ka na magpakonsulta ng di ka man lang nakukuhanan ng vitals signs.

Madali po akong kausap and kung decided kang umuwi eh papauwiin naman kita.Forever. Yung wala nang balikan. Yung wala ka nang iisiping trabaho kasi wala ka nang babalikan. 

May criteria naman yan na sinusunod. Kung pumasok ka dun eh ok. Kung hindi eh ipapaliwanag naman sa iyo. Pero wag kang magaastang bata na di napagbigyan sa gusto. Magulang din ako. Marunong akong manupil ng mga bata.

O siya. Kausapin mo ako kung decided ka na. Kung di naman. Tutulungan pa din kita.

Minsan Happy , Minsan nakukulitan sa iyo,

Doc June

"The Beginning Of My Magic Path"

"The Beginning Of My Magic Path"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

So this question was posted and I had this as a response.

Several people really, 

"Little did I know that this was the day that I would turn Phyrexian...."

1) Kris Nestor Urian who brought the cards in the middle of a lull in medschool one day and asked to me play. It was in between exams or lectures and Kris started asking me about Magic cards assumming that I know of the game. I had a working knowledge of how it goes but have not really played a game at this point. My first games were in the MCU Gazebos with my friends Kris Urian, Mark Tandayu and Arge Halog. Among the 4 of us only I would be able to play the game at present. It might not be too late to draw them back but I have to the time to find them for that. At the moment I don't. 

2) Cesar Masalunga Jr. who gave me my first set of Goblin Grenades who fueled my need to burn things. When Cesar learned that I was playing Magic , being there at the beginning of all this he gave me tips on what cards to play and he kept on mentioning Queso decks. I have never seen a Queso deck before. This refers to mono red burn decks that have a high number of spells that directly damage players , the most prominent of which is Fireball which actually looks like a flaming ball of Cheese or Cheeseball that is being hurtled at you , hence the name for such decks. On FB Cesar denied any encouragement on his part for the benefit of my wife but in truth he did encourage me to play more goblin decks and eventually to the mono red decks that I was obsessed in making in those days.

"Ganito itsura ni Uncle kapag nagugulpi kami sa magic!"

3) And last but not least is my Uncle Gabay Forlales who would often demonstrate "Fun" decks that turned out to be fun only for the person who was playing the deck and who introduced me to decks like Reanimator and that Cycling/Flashback Bear Mauling deck that made Bear Mauling look cool way before The Revenant. He would often go to the house and gather my brother , Aj and me to check out the latest deck techs. He would often start with , guys tingnan niyo ito... And then we were hooked.

Well that was the original answers I had but then again I had one more person added to the mix as I wrote this.

"Bringing the pain!"

4) My brother Aj was also influential as when I began teaching him Magic he beat the living day lights out of me with a simple beast deck that I did not even imagine could beat the deck that I was running.My brother looked at the decks I was using and just used them more aggressively or in more creative ways than I do. To this day I would often let him use a particular deck that I liked only to watch him beat the crap out of someone with it. It made me want to create more decks and see how those decks work. So in turn my brother also encouraged me to be a better deck builder and player. Our Goblins vs. Elves or Goblins vs. Slivers match up were always so competitive that I had to adapt a more relaxed stance in playing the game to balance things out. These things were important to me as it balanced my brother and me and we connected in the game even if we were fighting over a lot of things in real life.

So to you guys , I thank you. (My wife doesn't as she is complaining that I have way too much cards lying around in the house bwahahahha).

I would love to be able to play with you again and maybe soon. 

"Midweek Magic Jan 2018 #4:Xira Airen...Panira"

"Midweek Magic Jan 2018 #4:Xira Arien...Panira"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

In our first games of the year I decided to try my very own version of the pussy deck. Selesnya Arahbo Vs. Jus's Jund Xira Arien which in my book has a very apt name. Wala namang gagawin yung deck in Xira kundi sumira ng sumira.

Sumira ng lupa.Sumira ng creatures. Sumira ng diskarte. Sumira ng tempo. Xirang Xira ka kay Xira.

Of course I also wanted to give my all in fighting this deck as this will only improve over time. The Jund Mana Ramp Land Destruction deck has a lot of tools and being powered by Jus means that it can work in both 1v1 or multiplayer settings.

I managed to win a couple of games through sheer brutal force since Arahbo and his eminence affected the cats in my employ but there was one particular play that made me scratch my head and that was when Jus casted Decimate. 

I had an artifact. creature.enchantment and land. Had. Sigarda's Aid , an equipment , a pussy cat and a land. Gone. That card has so much value in this particular EDH game. 

Like I said. Xira lang ng Xira. 

"I Will Not Call Your Name."

"I Will Not Call Your Name."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

When the last of the beacons are extinguished
Long after their embers have died
When the last of those mighty pillars
have all but turned into dust

Do you expect me to call your name?
To shout it out in this darkness?
Do you see me doing that mighty one?
Do you see me groveling on my knees?

For Even with the last thoughts that I have
or the air that I will draw at last
No I will not shout your name.
I will be silent. These too shall pass.

"3(+2) pack experiment:Rivals of Ixalan edition"

"3(+2) pack experiment:Rivals of Ixalan edition"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

I did not regret not being able to play in the Rivals of Ixalan PR last week. The experience I had was a much more rewarding one with my family but it did not diminish my need to rip through some packs like a hungry dinosaur. So as I drove to my first duty of the week I stopped by Spiral Valenzuela and I wanted to just check if maybe they might have 3 Rival of Ixalan packs available for this blog entry. Just maybe. 

So when I was informed that there was actually 5 available I was so ecstatic that I pulled out my wallet and just asked them to take my money. Oh and I will be taking that Teferi , Mage of Zhalfir from the store stand too thank you very much.

The drive was like a blur as I felt that urge to just open the packs and see what I had. It can be a bunch of winners or the exact opposite. Then again I was an EDH player and my friends know that there is no "patapon" cards in my book.

I wasn't able to hear the music piping from my headphone as I scissored the top of the packs one by one. 

Pack #1
Slippery Scoundrel , Forerunner of the Empire , Silvergill Adept....Warkite Marauder.

It was the pirate with built in Humility when it attacked. It got me excited. The Forerunner of the Empire also made my day as my Gishath EDH deck would need  this Dino fetcher.

At Common was a Mist-cloaked Herald too...And I imagined it to be embalmed becoming a 4/4 unblockable merfolk. That is just me though.

Pack #2
Stone Quarry , Dire fleet Neckbreaker  , Pirates Pillage and Seafloor Oracle.

Dire fleet Neckbreaker and Pirates Pillage will be perfect in my Admiral Beckett Brass EDH deck. And Seafloor Oracle? I can just imagine drawing a card with Mist-cloaked Herald now. Time to dig for those merfolk in the closet.

Pack #3
I slowly opened this one to reveal a Reckless Rage , Legion Lieutenant , Sadistic Skymarcher and the Golden Dino himself! Zacama Primal Calamity. I just knew it when I saw that 9/9 at the bottom! Yes!

The Uncommons will find a home in my Licia Mardu Vampires. Yeah! Zacama? Well like I said in my preview article Zacama and Gishath will fxxk up some players really bad.

At this point I was so happy that I stopped and then realized that I had 2 more packs! Oh the joy!

Pack #4
See Red , Baffling End....Path of Discovery.

I knew that this rare might end up in some bargain bin somewhere but I cannot help but wonder how this will interact with Snek or Hardened scales. I like how this was going.

Pack #5 
And unto the last one. Still not expected what to get. Still bewildered from Zacama.

Arterial flow , Charging Tuskodon , Merfolk Mist Binder...Trapjaw Tyrant!!!

Yeah. This was my 2nd mythic in just 5 packs! What were the odds that I would get this Oblivion Ring on a stick! You attack , it gets blocked and dealt damage , it exiles an opponents creature! Yeah!

Charging Tuskodon is a sure bet to damage someone. Trample and then double strike...of sorts. He has a place.

And that new Merfolk Lord everyone was clamoring about. Merfolk Mistbinder is sure to be in a lot of standard decks soon. The Simic Merfolk build seems to be catching a lot of peoples interests now that Ramunap Red and Energy decks have been savaged in the last bannings.

Well this is it for this weeks Pack experiments. Keep on playing. Keep on brewing. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

"We Talk From Earth To The Heavens."

"We Talk From Earth To The Heavens."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Can you hear me over the distance?
Through the pearly gates where you reside?
Are you fighting or talking or what?
Does it still matter now?

One left too early and the other earlier still
And left a family bereft of guidance
Still I will fight for our identity in all this
We will fight under your name

Can you hear me where you are?
Does my voice reach you in the stars?
It must have , I am sure it must have
Know that this is more than just a promise.

Will see you us toiling here?
Secretly and overtly dealing with all we have?
I have many questions
but none may matter all that much.

The actions are all that matters
Not the kind words or remembrances.
Memories and good will fade.
And one tends to forget a voice or a face.

And the gratefulness passes
And past deeds , past kindness
And past heroics , past favors
All fall in the hole of forgetfulness

Our actions are all that matter now
The final words are our success
The lasting legacy in your place
The lasting memory in your name

"Doc In , Doc Out Espesyal letter to patients: Naiwan ang salamin edition"

"Doc In , Doc Out Espesyal letter to patients: Naiwan ang salamin edition"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Dear di masyadong minamahal na patient,

Maraming salamat sa pagpunta mo sa clinic para sabihin na ikaw ay nahihilo at nagsusuka dahil ang suot mo na salamin ay luma na at mas mababa ang grado sa kinasanayang mong salamin.

Nang tinanong kita kung nasaan ang tama mong salamin ay sinabi mo na nasa bahay at galing ka ng probinsiya at dumiretso ng trabaho kaya di mo na nakuha ang salamin na araw araw mong sinusuot. 

Ok na sana eh. Maniniwala na sana ako eh. Kaso lang hindi ako naniwala eh. Kasi kung nakabiyahe ka papuntang probinsya ng wala yung salamin na yun eh 2 lang ang ibig sabihin. 1) Dapat gumagapang ka na sa hilo papuntang trabaho or 2) di mo talaga need yung salamin at may audition ka na ginagawa.

Ayaw ko patulan kasi baka kumalat ang bagong technique mo at dagsain ako ng 100 tao na nawalan ng salamin.Di kita puwedeng ivoice rest kasi may voice ka naman. Di ka naman makapagdocument kasi malamang di mo nakikita yung tinatype mo. So anong gagawin natin?

Di rin sure,

Doc June

"Midweek Magic Jan 2018 #3:1st Pack Wars of the year"

"Midweek Magic Jan 2018 #3:1st Pack Wars of the year"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

St and I initially wanted to play pack wars last week but as fate would have it we instead talked about our writing goals for the year and the never ending desire to be published.

As we met for the 2nd time in KFC in Eton Centris those talks were still in our heads but my friend also knew that I was still hurting and distracted by the things that I wanted to accomplish for my family.

So we ended up playing a few friendly games of Pack Wars. Our first for the year and we played it with the 2 packs of Kaladesh that he gave me as a gift. One pack had Inspiring Vantage and one pack had some awesome advantages. Sadly both were in the hands of ST.

My 2 best 3 pieces in my pack was: 
#1 Renegade Freighter , Cog workers Puzzle knot and Welding Sparks - This is a beast as a 5/4 Renegade Freighter could run through most creatures or a Welding spark could just deal 3 damage it to get it out of the way.

#2 Consul's Shield Guard , Rush of Vitality and Fumigate
I cast the Shield guard and wait for ST to committing creatures on the board. I then cast Fumigate and make the Shield Guard Indestructible with Rush of Vitality and then go in for the kill. Of course this was foiled by a well timed Fair Grounds Warden.

All the rest consisted of cards that I would not be able to use or even support in the pack wars setting. So in the games that ST would be able to best these 3 pieces I ended up losing. I think I only won one round. But it was exciting games where even the best combinations of cards were bested by a little tweaking and timing.

Pack wars is versatile and it still one of the best things you can do with a pack before disassembling it for it's various contents. Looking forward to the next one ST! 

"Oh My Girl - Secret Garden MV reaction: The Flowers in bloom."

"Oh My Girl - Secret Garden MV reaction: The Flowers in bloom."
The Vole

It has been a good 9 months before Oh my girl returned  , opening 2018 with Secret Garden. To say that I am excited with this song is an understatement. I wanted them to come back and to win. I am anxious about the song but like Jiho said this is not a song about love , this is a song about Hope and it is with hope that I write about this MV.

It took me a full 3 days to go and write something about the song and I wanted my initial excitement to die down a bit but I cannot help but be hopeful that this will be the one that will break down that wall toward their first win. 

Secret Garden opens with the now adult aged Arin looking mighty fine and taking the place of YooA as the center in this song. She is trying to show how grown up she is but the fact that she is still a baby still shows and I think most miracles will still see her that way. She opens up a tin circular box that shines on her face. This later translate as the place where OMG does all their dance parts! Yeah wouldn't we all want a circular tin box with 7 dancing girls in it.

The MV focuses on the 6 other girls as they try to do different aspirations and show some of those hopes. There are several nods to previous MV's of OMG and this is a fact that all Miracles will enjoy and for those who are becoming fans will have to unravel themselves.

Jiho opens the song while being shown on a train going to somewhere. Somewhere high as she actually she's clouds where this train is passing through which makes you think that she is on an actual plane instead of a train. I don't know if it is a foreshadowing of what happened to her ankle but she remains seated in the rest of the MV as in all the appearances of OMG this promotion season. Pangul (The Deer in Closer) makes appearance in the clouds and the pink confetti streaming into the windows is a nod to Cupid.

Binnie in this this MV is seen as a student  , alone in a classroom with an empty bird cage. Yup , the same bird cage she had in Windy day where she released a bird. And that bird like a once released love returned to her  , beautiful and strong. I like her parts in the song as she seems to show off her vocals like never before and her acting , she really is ripe for a drama somewhere. Among all the girls she has the great ability to convey charm so simply but powerfully.

YooA actually enters the Secret garden. Well at least her version of it and with her pleasant voice she enchants you. She invites you to come in for today. she invites you to see the secret garden. Imagine  , you and me she sings. And many Miracles don't even need to imagine all that hard with YooA offering a hand a pulling them deeper into that world. Her dancing is on point and clean as ever. The flower like , snapping "Whaacking" dance break that OMG shows her centers on her and it is something that the cast of Knowing Brothers were greatly impressed by. That dance move on 4:02 is impressive and as they did vocally they finish with a strong dance move while still being held by Arins soft vocals. The town where YooA floats around in her crystal enclosed Secret Garden can be a reference to that town in Coloring book where the girls are floating around in.

Seunghee is the ace vocalist showing off her talents once again and the parts at 3:41 of the song shows her singing playing off the voices of Jiho , Hyojung and YooA , making her voice stand out more and closing the song powerfully , I just wish that her voice was louder as it deserves to be heard.
Seunghee is shown as an artist here who makes dreams come true and with her vocals guiding OMG I believe that their dream of a first will come true soon. The scene with her sees the Stag hanging on the wall and the whale jumping from a page which is a reference to both Jine and A-ing.

Hyojung  , the candy leader is shown in a living room where she is seen a 3D fold out of the deer again in reference to Closer and some parts of A-ing as with all the fishes in the room. 

Mimi is in a diner working hard. She sings "Come with me Bae" closely with YooA's parts of the song. She does not rap in the main single yet again which might anger some miracles but I believe her part in this song is good and enticing as well. References include the big Lemon on the scene where Mimi was still sporting blonde hair in A-ing and the scene on  the plate where the Deer and the boat from Closer was seen.

Arin also has another reference to A-ing. Remember that scene at the opening of A-ing where she eats a banana and the banana seems to have regrown? She does some magic like that with her blue green umbrella in the opening of the song. She sits down with it on her left, it disappears  , the tin box appears in her hand and voila the umbrella is now on her right side! When did that happen? Magic! 

About YooA and Arin , as centers they both represent the Secret Garden. YooA even has the dress that has the flowers. She is the flower in that garden but Arin is also another blossoming flower that in the end OMG wants to support as well as seen in the ending of the MV. Since the closer era Arin and YooA have always been the center of the themes of their songs and Secret Garden has only added to this sense of story telling.

I hope Oh my girl will finally get the win that they deserve. I wait with excitement. I want to see their Secret Garden grow.

"Momoland - Bboom Bboom MV reaction:Serving up treats."

"Momoland - Bboom Bboom MV reaction:Serving up treats."
The Vole

This year started good for Momoland and Bboom Bboom.As of this writing they have won their first music show award for this particular song and this is something that I applaud them for.

Bboom Bboom is a dance song that features all the members in a colorful MV and what is akin to a home shopping channel add. The cool thing is that you can see their names highlighted on the right as they are being shown on the screen which gives the much better recall or you can instantly know their name should a particular face catches your eye. And in a highly saturated kpop market full of pretty faces you really need that recall.

While there are some of the girls in Momoland that do not appeal to me there are some that have gained recall in this new MV at least. Nancy is still the center of this group and she has come back much prettier than before but you also need good support for your center and this has come in the energetic Joo E who has improved both in the visual(after her surgery) and dance departments. JooE stood out in the very good Rap break of Bboom Bboom and this part proves as a crafty hook if you are getting bored by just looking at the pretty faces.

Another pleasant surprise is the Yeonwoo who features prominently in what I would call as the sexy bridge of this MV. Dublekick must have really seen her potential and given her this particular break. She is both enticing in this part and the push for sexiness has given Momoland another dimension which they can build on. Hyebin on the other hand is still as sexy as can be and forms part of this visual and dance group.

All in all I applaud Bboom Bboom as Momolands break out song and hopefully they build on this particular success.

Monday, January 8, 2018

"Etali , The Primal storm:Feeding off your mind."

"Etali , The Primal Storm:Feeding off your mind."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Magic players want a lot of things and most of the time they want those things for free like casting impossibly expensive mana cost cards or gigantic creatures for example. And there is one Elder Dinosaur that would let you do just that. Etalli.

So for 4 generic mana and 2 Red ones you can cast this 6/6 Legendary creature. Now those stats doesn't seem all that impressive when compared to the biggest dinosaur of this set which is Ghalta but Etali makes up more with a very fun triggered ability that could either illicit howls of laughter or howls of frustration from your playgroupmates. I am actually predicting the former.

So what is this triggered ability? When Etali attacks , not when it damages. Just by attacking you get to exile the top card of each your opponents Library.In 1 v 1 this would be nice but when you put this in an EDH multiplayer setting then you can see a lot of bonker things that Etali could do. The great part about those exiled cards is that you MAY play then without paying their mana costs! 

Notice that I emphasized MAY. This actually gives you a choice on which cards to stack and cast , if you happen to exile a mass removal spell you are not forced to cast it and destroy your advantage.(in case you are ahead but with Etali out it seems that you are ahead).

I was wondering what a Sailodon would be able to do and it seems that mana and magic seem to come of it so that you could easily sling spells. And except for lands you could actually cast all of the spells that are available to you. Basically if your opponent has ramp then you have ramp and if they put planeswalkers in their decks then there is a chance that you would be able to cast that as well for free.

So basically you just need to be aware of what spells to cast and the need to protect Etali from unwanted removal. PR kit give me this dino! Please!

"Nezahal , Primal Tide: Look what came in with the Ixalan tides? "

"Nezahal , Primal Tide: Look what came in with the Ixalan tides? "
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

My friend Mark and I were speculating the other night what the Blue Elder Dinosaur would be like. I even doubted that there was one at first but since they spoiled Tetzumoc we were fairly certain that one was about to emerge from what ever primordial sea that it was in at the moment.

And we were not wrong as the powerhouse Nezahal emerged from the Icy blue waters of Ixalan and bring so much awesomeness in our lives. 

Nezahal is fairly costed at 7 mana. Not as fast as Ghalta but 7 mana is a piece of cake with ramp in EDH. And when you do cast Nezahal the blue dino cant be countered! Let me sink that in for a moment. You just cast a monster and no one can say no to it from ever existing on the battlefield! Whoa! I can just imagine the mirror match up of mirror decks.

It also expands your mind a bit by being a mobile storage of knowledge by being the creature version spellbook or a reliquary tower. I know that a lot of control players are salivating at the thought that they would be able to abuse this creature. I mean blue lets you draw and have a full hand to threaten with that hand that might be full of lands that you cannot play or counters that actually help you.

The goodness doesn't end there though as this is also the first and probably the last dinosaur to have a built in Rhystic study as what Wilbert and I were talking about earlier in the office. It is a bit better than Rhystic study in the sense that opponents no longer have the option to pay one colorless mana to prevent you from drawing your card. It they cast a non-creature spell then that is it , you just draw.

And the last thing that makes Control players happy is the resiliency of this creature. We had creatures like Pearl Lake Ancient who require to bounce lands or Batterskull that drains you of 5 mana to evade spot or mass removal. The great thing about Nezahal is that you already have the resources to aid him in his evasion , a full hand , what with having no hand size and the card advantage of drawing when opponents cast non-creature spells. 

And at times when an opponent tries to doomblade Nezahal for example you get to draw your card first and discard just two more to save it from dying. And at the end of your turn you have a tapped 7/7 that still has all the perks of it's abilities and raring to smash face on your next turn.

This card has so much value and I can see how a lot of decks would try and make space for it. Maybe even as a commander. 

"Zetalpa , Primal Dawn: Death from the above"

"Zetalpa , Primal Dawn: Death from the above"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

And the parade of Elder dinosaurs that could be your potential end continues. Now what we have is a frightening bird that some players laughingly refer to as Zetalpakroma as it is reminiscent of that mighty angel. 

At 8 mana players face a daunting task of casting it but there are cards like dowsing dagger and Azor's Gateway that can help you cast this Dinobird much easier. Some players don't even see that 8 mana colorless cost anymore. Some GPG players can easily get this as a 4/4 token with all the trimmings and not mind that does not have 8 toughness. 

Zetalpa is a 4/8 , Flying , Double strike , Vigilance , Trample , Indestructible creature. Whatever angle you look at it  , this creature was built to kill you. That is its one job. And it looks like it can hungrily kill you if you let it.

Given it could have used Haste or hexproof or some sort of Protection like Akroma from the good old days but heck players would still have one heck of a time dealing with this with regular means like Vraska's contempt or walk the plank. Good luck trying to fatal push this fattie too. You can't even burn it.Unless you use Burn from Within.You can use -1/-1 counters or exile it but Zetalpa can go head to head with bigger beasties like Ghalta and survive!

If you open Zetalpa in your PR Kit this best pray that you have enough ramp to play this bomb.

"Zacama , Primal Calamity: Primal Utility"

"Zacama , Primal Calamity: Primal Utility"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

My friend ST was joking that Zacama was good. Zacama magaling. And I can't argue with that since given the chance Zacama will Fxxk you up really good. He is a 9/9 Vigilance , Reach , Trample dinosaur that seems to make a Batman utility belt impression with all the things that he could do. I mean with 3 heads and all that.

First I'd like to get this off my chest. I was right that it was Gold Colored , that it would be huge and that it would be legendary.

I got the triple strike thing wrong. Too soon said Wizards of the Coast. So I guess those 3 heads are a filter of sorts for magic then. Oh and in a pinch a 9 damage bite our of your life points isn't bad too.

I didn't predict that it would be in Naya colors. I was expecting a whole 5 color Dino that can bind them all. Sorry Zacama , there is a place for you in my Naya Dino Deck but only as an alternative or Support. Gishath will still be calling the shots so to speak.

However Zacama , Primal Calamity is not all bad. I mean aside from costing 9 mana , 6 colorless and a committed Naya based mana colors. Zacama has an ETB effect that allows you to untap all of the lands you controlled. With a Vorinclex out that would be a considerable amount of mana at your disposal.

So what would you now do with all that mana? Well time to party at all your opponents expense. Pump in 2 mana and Red an you to get to deal 3 damage to a target creature. Enrage something like PolyRaptor multiple times. He is a big boy , he can take it. Or you could kill those pesky blockers on the other side of the board.

Pump in 2 and green and you get to naturalize stuff! I have a playgroup mate who relies heavily on artifacts and enchantments. Zacama can be their freaking nightmare. Well if it survives removal that is.

Oh and speaking of Survival , you might have been taking heavy hits early in the round while waiting for the right combination of mana. Don't worry. You can pump in 2 and White mana and you gain 3 life per pump! Zacama will make it up to you since you stuck it out with him.

Zacama , Primal Calamity. Let us wait and see how you will change the Dino game months down the line.

"Doc In , Doc Out Espesyal letter to Patients:The Flu in Fluimucil Edition"

"Doc In , Doc Out Espesyal letter to Patients:The Flu in Fluimucil Edition"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Dear Hindi masyadong minamahal na mga pasyente,

Hindi po porke't may flu sa Fluimucil ay magkakaroon kayo ng flu after niyo itong tinake. Naririnig ko pa ang boses mo na parang may conspiracy , "Pero doc after ko lang uminom ng Fluimucil ako nagkasakit ng flu , before that eh hindi naman."

Hindi po kaya ang nangyari ay nahawa kayo sa isang tao na may flu sa inyong Floor kaya kayo nagkaflu at nagkataon lang na uminom kayo ng Fluimucil the previous night?

So for the record po. Di po kayo puwedeng magkaroon ng Flu kapag nagtake kayo ng Fluimucil. Utang na loob po wag niyo na pong ulitin ha? Kinig po tayo dun sa explanation ng Doctor.

Di masyadong nagmamahal ulit.

Doc June

"Midweek Magic Jan 2018 #2 : Birthday Games"

"Midweek Magic Jan 2018 #2 : Birthday Games"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

I recently turned 41 and I celebrated on the day itself with a few friends who took it out of their busy schedules to drop by my clinic to give me gifts and to check on me as well after the events of December.

First up was ST who I met in KFC and we got to talking again about our writing , Kpop and the state of Magic. We never got around to playing a game but he did gift me with an Ixalan PR kit which had a Regisaur Alpha PR foil and Black Dice from Ixalan which I always wanted.

The 2nd wave were my DXC/HP playgroup ,all that was missing was Pao. Ram and Cheska visited and the whole crew was there for a 7 man EDH multiplayer game that saw the emergence of Jus as the main archenemy. Jethro fell in love with the Mimeoplasm. Ram was still controlling. Janry ended up doing a board wipe before being summoned by his true commander. Yo who sat at my right was still support. Cheska who was using Omnath the whole time on my left. And we were just laughing at everything.EDH Magic games at one's birthday. I was blessed to have friends who are the same but unique on their own as well.

This would be the first games of the year as a group and I look forward to all the following weeks for more. Thank you guys. Kahit na nagulpi si Locust God. Masayang masaya pa din ako kasi nakapaglaro tayo.

"Fearing the ripples"

"Fearing the ripples"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Amid the songs of a saviour
Born was He
Yet he would end
What many could be

Well loved,Well mannered
A deep well in the stillness
Until a stone fell
and the ripples became a disturbance

A feeding frenzy of hunger
A hunger only he could feel
Sated only by the things
The painful things he could deal

And for awhile the ripples subside
Allowing clarity and meaning
But the hunger , the longing
Waits to be all consuming

And so for now
Sitting in the stillness
Afraid of the ripples
He sleeps.

11/15 2017 Coffee Project , QC

Friday, January 5, 2018

"Angrath , Minotaur Pirate: All work and no play."

"Angrath , Minotaur Pirate: All work and no play."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

I have been wanting to write about Magic's first Minotaur planeswalker card for a bit now but as a lot of knew what happened to me I have been and will be preoccupied in the coming months and years in rebuilding my family. I still plan on writing as much as I can though and today let us focus on that other planeswalker who was mentioned in Ixalan but will only just be appearing now.

Now this version is probably a lot weaker than the standard version of the card but this guy seems to possess a lot of good abilities for the 6 mana that he would require you to cast him. 

His first ability , a +2  , allows you to deal 1 damage to target opponent and each player that player controls. There would be situations where you are not going to be able to assault an opponent. Ghostly Prison and Propaganda or a a whole slew of blockers on the battlefield. In regard Angrath can be a pinger finisher for you or maybe eliminate those pesky 1/1 blockers so that your creatures can smash through. Whatever the case I wish that they just made this into a pyroclasm ability but then again this would be too strong for a planeswalker duel deck exclusive.

The Minotaurs second ability , a -3  , proves that you never really stop working for him even if you die. It is a very limited necromantic calling but it can be quite effective in decks that are dedicated to pirates. So you can just put one of your dead pirates from your graveyard unto the battlefield. There are a lot of ETB effects from the pirates of Ixalan and I am sure that there will be a lot more of those in Rivals of Ixalan. So to maximize this ability you need to stick Angrath in a pirate EDH deck , preferably with Admiral Beckett Brass as so far there are no their captains that can work with him in EDH.

Angrath's Ultimate ability , a -11 , let's you choose an opponent and destroy all of his or her creatures. And to rub a little salt on the injury that he has lost all of his attackers or blockers , Angrath would also deal damage to that opponent equal to the total power of the creatures that you have just destroyed. Channeling all of that death and causing more death. Ouch.

When you think about it even if your opponent survives this board wipe it would still leave him vulnerable to your attacking creatures. 

And this ultimate makes the most convincing argument for adding Angrath into your pirate decks may they be in Standard or EDH. Will you be building a pirate deck now? Will you add Angrath to your existing decks? Time to have fun. Keep on brewing. Keep on playing.

"Urza , Headmaster: Time to use that Head then."

"Urza , Headmaster: Time to use that Head then."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

Move over Nicol Bolas , Ugin , Karn and Jace ,TMS. Even if he is just a head Urza is still the strongest planeswalker that ever existed. And probably the most fun to play with because he can surely allow you to use very useful abilities and if you are lucky those abilities can even help win you the game.

His first , 2nd and Ultimate skill does require you to have Internet access to be able to go to to click on an ability and use it. I did try it and it was interesting that he has all the abilities of the current planeswalkers in existence and the randomness of it all makes for really interesting games(or at least I imagine them to be interesting games because you never know what you are going to get).

I liken Urza , Head master to the character Gilgamesh in Final Fantasy 8. If you have ever played that game on PS1 you would know how unpredictable this character can be as he can actually draw and strike with a sword that would deal maximum damage or just a measly 1 damage. What is a little chaos and randomness now and then right? Urza gives you powerful advantages...randomly. Making me instantly like the guy.

Urza . also happens to be the first ever Un-set planeswalker as well as the first time that he has gotten a planeswalker card and owning him is of Magic historical significance for me. I was able to get one in my 3 pack opening of Unstable and it really made my night.

Now playing with Urza is no joke because he requires all colors to be cast. The starting counter of 4 is also a bit low considering that EDH decks has a lot of ways to produce 4 damage. These disadvantages won't stop me from playing the iconic planeswalker though and I find myself at the proverbial drawing board to make a fun deck for him. 

I better not lose my head over this one.

"Vraska,Scheming Gorgon:Showing her deadly face again"

"Vraska,Scheming Gorgon:Showing her deadly face again"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

We all knew that Vraska was a baddie in this tale of Ixalan , that no matter what she feels for Jace she is still an agent of Bolas aka Lord Nicholas in this story. And it was only a matter of time before Vraska showed this side again and she did not disappoint.

As part of the planeswalker decks that come out in Rivals of Ixalan I am predicting that a lot of EDH players would welcome this new version of Vraska. So let us check out our mono black gorgon captain and why she might change things up in your token strategies.

So for 6 mana you get a planeswalker with 5 loyalty counters. Her first ability is a +2 which gives all of your creatures +1/0 until end of turn . much like Sorin's ability but without the life link, this means that before you plop her down with her enormous cost you must have played enough creatures to benefit from this first ability. If you have been been attacking constantly then putting her down might even end the life of your opponent.

Vraska seems like herself now with her gorgon touch and a -3 Loyalty 2nd skill that destroys a target creature. Not quite as strong as the original -3 destroy target non land permanent but hey you have to deal with what you are given.

However it is her last ability that is sure to make your opponents think of getting his or her creature sweeper from the library. My friend Janry runs a mean Hapatra , Vizier of Poisons deck. He can easily produce a lot of snakes , really fast. Now imagine using this skill with all those tokens in play. -10 Until end of turn creatures you control gain death touch and when they are able to damage an opponent that player loses the game.

So. She turns everyone into her assassins. In my opinion this is a better version from the Vraska of old but it still depends on how many creatures you have in play and their evasive abilities such as flying , unblockable , shadow or Land walk. If your critters have these evasiveness then it looks more and more like a win for you.

Now I have to prepare because the next EDH game I might be up to my neck in sneks and all of them have lethal sting. 

"Long_D feat. Kim Doyeon of Weki Meki - All night MV reaction"

"Long_D feat. Kim Doyeon of Weki Meki - All night MV reaction"
The Vole

The whole MV features Kim Doyeon formerly of Produce 101 and currently of the rooking Group Weki Meki who debuted this year. She takes the lion share of lines here and one can understand why she is also the only one featured in the MV. I don't know how pretty Long_D but he probably can't be as pretty as Kim Doyeon.

One look and you would notice that she looks like a filipina actress Nanette Medved(my age is showing) , what with her rather gorgeous and prominent mouth and slim physique. I must admit that I did not follow Produce 101 all that much but I have seen most of the members now that they have joined their respective groups. 

Kim Doyeon has a pleasant voice and an even pleasing face to look at , she also has a spitting likeness to Loona member Choerry and I can see why a lot of people also like this particular Loona member.

The song has an easy enough hook and is teeming with beautiful trap beats that will entice to listen to it more and with Kim Doyeon as the visual centerpiece you really can't help yourself. 

The MV has a lot of shots of the former 101 member on top of a helipad  ,dancing to the music with the back drop of the river Han. The song is meant for chilling out after all or in my cases meant to amuse me while I wash dishes. 

The song is about two lovers talking to each other and fearing that when they look into each others eyes that they might not see the other there. When you see the translation it is a rather sad song because there is a fear of loss but if you can't help but move to this song then I guess no one can blame you. It is extremely catchy.

"Day6 - I like you MV reaction: Stalking season begins."

"Day6 - I like you MV reaction: Stalking season begins."
The Vole

When someone you like follows you around and surprises you with a gift or a big balloon that declares their love for you then that is an act of extreme sweetness. On the other hand if it is someone that you do not like or find extremely unattractive then it is a case of stalking that should be reported to the police as soon as possible.

It is a good thing then that the girl in this MV likes the boy who did the declaration with the giant balloon. Otherwise that phone that she was holding in her hands in the MV might have been used to call the police right. In the end we have a smiling girl who finally knows that the boy she likes , likes her back. Ah Love.

The song from Day6 is straightforward enough and it follows their power ballad formula's to a tee with seemingly creative lyrics that follow the same sort of beats. I like you as the chorus says. Of course simply saying I like you is not enough through , text or email or simply saying it in person. You can't just simply sing a song to that effect anymore. What you need is a grand gesture. And oh the grand gesture here is the giant balloon that the boy gently lowers to the window of the cafe that seems to be a few feet below the rooftop. 

When I was watching this I thought of a couple of things:
1) How the heck did he know when to lower the balloon? Did he watch her from a distance or have paid spies that provide him the info?
2) Even creepier is the thought that he probably stalked this young girl himself for a long time by knowing the exact time of her shift and if she ever went to work that day.  
3) What was his plan B if she was not the one on duty in the cafe that day?
4) What would have happened if she called the police about the big balloon that was now blocking the awesome view of their cafe?
5) There was not a hint in the MV that they met or even dated so it was a big gamble on the guy part with the declaration. Buti na lang pogi. Kundi kulong yan. (upon further reviewing the guy did text her , probably asking if she was in the cafe).

6) Also who prepares coffee with overly long knitted white sweaters and maintain it in pristine whiteness? This girl apparently.
7) The security in this building must be very lax. The guy was able to go up the rooftop without a single person stopping or asking him or her why they were going there.
8) The guy was also on the rooftop for at least a couple of hours waiting for the right time. That takes dedication. Most of the time stalking is like that. Don't ask me how I know that.
8) There was a text in the MV , probably saying"Look out the window." What if the girl has a congenital heart condition and she suffers a heart attack? This MV would have taken a dark turn.
9) Also , it would have been so funny if the balloon faced the wrong way and she could not read the words of confession there.

So lesson learned. Don't say I love you. Stalk. And do your grand gesture!

"For the Nth Time."

"For the Nth Time."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD

YuuA just knew that she was going to be kidnapped again today. All the signs were there. The people who seemed out of place , the time of the day , the big man with the ill-fitting waiters uniform whom she could see was concealing a weapon at the back of his apron , his companions who were warily eyeing the exits and entrances to the small cafe.

The big man was smiling at her and expecting her to order something.

"Just for today. Could you please let me finish my meal before you point the gun at me and carry me to whatever rat infested hide out you think that my boyfriend can't find?" YuuA smiled back , hoping that the big man would take the hint and let her have her wish.

"You are coming with me." The man said in response and pointed his gun a little far off toward her face.

The first few times that this has happened YuuA was terrified ,  V seemed like he had an almost endless amount of enemies that he had made angry one way or the other and it didn't seem like these enemies got the point that the dragon could not only rescue her effectively and kill all of the kidnappers but there was some repercussions that occurred down the line for their individual organizations.

"So would it be a mask over my head or the mouth gag?" YuuA asked. "I actually prefer the mask but I guess the mouth gag will do if you don't have one."

The man looked confused but he produced what appeared to be an empty bag of flour from his apron and covered YuuA's pretty face with it.

"It seemed you actually emptied this one. The last guy still had some stuff in the bag and I had to wash my hair really thoroughly for a week or so." YuuA Smiled though the guy would not see it. It was playing out like the normal kidnapping at least. "You better manhandle me soon or your friends might believe that you are half hearted in kidnapping me. You have heard of the Silver Dragon V right?"

She was not able to see the man but she felt sweaty palms as he began to lift her to stand. Then he heard the familiar sound in the air , as if it was humming and she knew that the wind was being cut by the speed at which V was approaching. 
She heard one thud of a body falling to the floor , one by one until she counted 9 to be exact , accompanied by the clang of different weapons both light and heavy.V was doing his thing again.

The man still held her arm as he began shooting at something.

"I'd actually just save the bullets.There is no way you can ever hit him. He always leaves a messenger for the organization who tried to abduct me anyway. So don't piss him off than he already is with this foolish attempt and you might be the messenger that he chooses."

YuuA heard the gun clicking as the man shot empty at V. They never really listen and here she was just wanting a quiet lunch. The man threw his gun , let go of her and began to run.

She lifted the bag of flour from her head , shaking off fine white powder to fall all over her just in time to see V choke and lift the big man effortlessly. 

"You are my messenger. Tell your bosses that if they try this again I would hurt them where it matters." V said as the man struggled to break free. "Now nod your head if you got my message?"

The man nodded and V let go. Enabling him to run out of the Cafe and into the streets of Seoul. Someone is going to be extremely unhappy by this attempt.

"Your boss is really cheap not even assigning a single body guard to you." V began to complain. 

"Why do you think he allowed me to date you? What could a mere body guard handle that a Creation Dragon can't?" YuuA said shaking flour from her clothes.

"Well I can surely treat you to better food."

"Yeah. Just bring me somewhere quiet please."


V touched her elbow and in an instant they teleported out of the city. Just in time for the police to arrive and the manager of the store waking to find enough Won in his pocket to fix for all the damages of the cafe.