Innistrad Picks Part 6 Lands and Artifacts

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Sep 242011

Today we look at Lands and Artifacts.  I won’t be discussing the new  lands, because they are all good. I will primarily focus on artifacts.  Most of the artifacts and multicolored cards. No, playing around onto the cards. Continue reading »

Innistrad Set Review White Picks Part 5

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Sep 232011

We are quickly approaching the end of this review.  Just one day left, after today.  Today we get to talk about White.   It seems that White gets the most bang for its buck in Innistraad.    Whit is full of card quality in both the constructed and limited environments.  Since, this is only a small review I will only cover a handful of these cards.


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Innistrad Set review Red Picks

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Sep 222011

It is day four of my set review.   For those of you who have not read these daily reports yet, here is what I am doing.  I am reviewing each color and sharing with you my top picks.  I am not a pro player by any means, I am just a judge who enjoys writing and playing Magic the Gathering  along with many other games.


On to the cards
Bloodcrazed Neonate    1r
Creature – Vampire     Common
Bloodcrazed Neonate attacks each turn if able.

Whenever Bloodcrazed Neonate deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
While elder vampires select their meals with care, the newly sired frenzy at the first whiff.
Illus. Cynthia Sheppard    2/1

This guy is not super, but he gets an honorable mention because he grows and he is common.


Curse of Stalked Prey
Enchantment – Aura Curse     Rare
Enchant player
Whenever a creature deals combat damage to enchanted player, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.
“Innocent thorns can fill the air with your bloodscent. Don’t stray from the path.”
–Elmut, crossway watcher
Illus. Christopher Moeller #136/264


Will this card make it into constructed – yes.  It will Goblins or red deck wins a boost in their speed.  Oh and combine this with Bloodcrazed Neonate and you have a Vampiric nightmare.

Brimstone Volley  2r
Instant     Common
Brimstone Volley deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
Morbid – Brimstone Volley deals 5 damage to that creature or player instead if a creature died this turn.
Illus. Eytan Zana #132/264

I like Brimstone volley because it will be fairly easy to deal 5 damage.  Why because creatures die in Magic the Gathering.

Pitchburn Devil   4r
Creature – Devil     Common
When Pitchburn Devils dies, it deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
Illus. Johann Bodin #156/264    3/3

Our friend here is nothing special for a 3/3.  But when he dies he becomes a lightning bolt.  So he has potential.  He might see play in constructed.  I believe you will most certainly see him in limited.  I expect him to be picked as early a the third pick in a draft.  Really tough to say when a card will be pick but this guy brings some serious card quality to the limited format.


That is all for now.  tomorrow we move on to White and everything it has in store for us.

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Why We Make our Children’s Lunches

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Sep 222011

I find the school lunch program to be overpriced for what it is.  Often school lunches give you child too much freedom over their diet.   A child of preteen, or teen  years should not be plagued with choices they are not mature enough to make or understand.   The simple fact is that most school lunch plans allow children to eat off the standard menu.  Even though this menu has a seemingly balanced meal plan, the portions are out whack.  My children almost always cam home hungry.  But that is not the big problem.  The big problem are the choice you child has if they don’t pick a menu option.  Many, schools offer an a la carte line of foods.  This often includes choices like pizza, donuts, milkshakes, burgers, chips and ice cream.  While some of these items are OK for your body once in a while they should not  be entrees.  Further, children who really do not know any better shouldn’t be put in a position to make a choice that forms their eating habits without supervision.

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Ethics in RPG’s, part 3: Palladium/Rifts

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Sep 212011

Introduction: The System

Compared to D&D’s alignment system, the one employed in all Palladium products is seemingly simpler.  It is a single-axis, or linear, alignment system.  So it intertwines both legality and morality into a single spectrum.  From “Good” to “Evil” it reads as follows:

The Good: Principled & Scrupulous;

The Selfish: Unprincipled & Anarchist;

The Evil: Aberrant, Miscreant, & Diabolic.

The Alignments

For those unfamiliar with the system I will try to offer some analogies for each alignment.

Principled: Correlates quite closely to “Lawful-Good” or at least “Neutral-Good” in D&D.  This is the alignment for the goody-two-shoes type.  Honesty, integrity, fairness and justice are held high, as well as respect for authority and a desire to work within the system – be it legal, civil, religious, etc.  Examples include: a Paladin (D&D), Superman (comics), and Obi-Wan Kenobi (prequel trilogy).

Scrupulous: Is your “Neutral-Good” to “Chaotic-Good” alignment.  This character puts “life and freedom above all else.”  Very often a Scrupulous character will live by a moral code, but not as rigidly as the Principled character.  The biggest distinction is in the Scrupulous character’s willingness to work outside the law.  Examples include: Knight (D&D), Spider-Man (comics), Luke Skywalker.

The Palladium systems defines the Selfish category by stating, “Selfish characters (Unprincipled and Anarchist) are not necessarily evil, but they have their own best interests at heart and their opinions in mind above all others.  These are the mercenaries, rogues, vigilantes and anti-heroes of the world.”

Unprincipled: Politically, an Unprincipled character would likely be a Libertarian (which makes the label “Unprincipled” a misnomer).  They are sometimes schemers, but good at heart.  This is closest to “Chaotic-Good” to “Chaotic-Neutral”.  The first distinction being that while a Principled character will work within the law (only going around it when necessary), the Unprincipled character has an inherent distrust and disdain for all forms of authority and institutions, seeing them as intrinsically corrupt.  They can be a team player, but it will always be on their own terms.  Examples include: Rogue or Bard (D&D), Wolverine (comics), Han Solo.

Anarchist: Very self-centered, indulgent and impulsive.  His motivations are entirely personal.  Again, to quote Palladium, “The Anarchist is continually teetering between good and evil, rebelling against and bending the law to fit his needs.”  Clearly “Chaotic” in regards to law, and “Neutral” in morality.  Examples include: Rogue or Bard, The Punisher (on a good day), Lando Calrisian.

Aberrant: The first of the “Evil” alignments.  Here the motivation is power.  Aberrant has a lot in common with Anarchist, the difference is in the cruelty towards one’s enemies.  Honor is important, though this is often corrupted in some way.  The other value is loyalty – at least loyalty from his underlings.  Perhaps “True Neutral” to “Lawful Evil” is the closest correlation to D&D.  But if you’d prefer examples: a Devil (D&D), Magneto (comics), Darth Vader.

Miscreant: Here, we take another step up on the selfishness and megalomania scale.  Personal pleasure, power, and wealth are the motives.  “This character is a savage misanthrope out for himself” (Palladium).  This character would fall somewhere in the “Neutral-Evil” to “Chaotic-Evil” range.  My examples would be: King Kaius I (D&D Eberron), Lex Luthor (comics), Jabba the Hutt.

Diabolic: Finally, the lowest-of-the-low.  This is as bad as it gets.  Not necessarily random and crazy (but don’t exclude that either); they are just twisted.  Any of the “Evil” alignments in D&D will work, so long as you put a “Very” in front of “Evil.”  Examples: Orcus (D&D), Dr. Doom, Darkseid (comics), Emperor Palpatine.

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Innistrad Picks Part 3

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Sep 212011

While looking at green I have concluded that green is just kind of blah.  Now, I don’t mean that in a negative way.  Green in Innistrad is just so similar from card to card that only a few cards stand out.  We will get to those in a moment.  Green has a couple of recurring themes that happen too frequently.  They are +X/+X where X is number of creatures in your graveyard and werewolves.   They both happen so much that it waters them down.  I do not  really like the fact that Green is full of transforming cards, and I even dislike the trigger for them more.

On to the cards.

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Innistrad Picks Part 2 Blue

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Sep 202011

Yesterday  I discussed the cards from Black cards from Innistrad that I thought might have some merit.  Today we will waste no time moving to blue.   As a whole I am not overly impressed with Blue.  It just does not seem to have the punch that some of the other colors are bringing to the environment.


My First pick is

Back from the Brink 4uu
Enchantment     Rare
Exile a creature card from your graveyard and pay its mana cost: Put a token onto the battlefield that’s a copy of that card. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.
Illus. Anthony Palumbo #44/264


While I don’t think this will see a lot of play in constructed I think it will be a great card in limited.  I like all creatures having flashback.



Ludevic’s Test Subject // Ludevic’s Abominatio  1u
Creature – Lizard // Creature – Lizard Horror     Rare
1{U}: Put a hatchling counter on Ludevic’s Test Subject. Then if there are five or more hatchling counters on it, remove all of them and transform it.
After several failed experiments, the visionary Ludevic realised he needed to create a monster that fed on torch-wielding mobs.
Illus. Nils Hamm #64/264    0/3 // 13/13


Ludevic will most likely not turn up in constructed.  In limited he is far to similar to  Figure of destiny to pass up.



Curse of the Bloody Tome 2u
Enchantment – Aura Curse     Common
Enchant player
At the beginning of enchanted player’s upkeep, that player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
After seeing his life’s work drip away, the mage decided it was a good time to go crazy.
Illus. Jaime Jones #50/264


I like this card not because of it potential, but because of its casual feel.  I think that balancing the set with both casual cards and competitve cards.   Besides I miss Millstone, and I want to build a deck with it.


like i said before I think blue is weak in this set.  Those are my three favorite cards.  tomorrow we will pick on Green.

Sep 202011

Halloween is so close I can almost feel the eerie excitement.   Every year around this time I wish I had a goood gaming costume.   I mean every year I go to these conventions and think how cool some of these costumes are.  Every year I say next year I will have one.  The problem is to just buy a costume you might spend over a thousand dollars.  Well, next year I won’t  have a cool one but I sure will be off to a good start.

While there is no limit to what you can do with your imagination when it comes to costuming you have to start somewhere.  I have always wanted to make a ranger type of costume.  This is something that I will have to do in baby steps, actually my wife will be doing all the work.  For the start of the project, which will take a year or two to budget all the time for, I have decided on a shirt and a cape.  These items should prove fairly easy to make.  The materiel’s needed should also prove to be inexpensive. Continue reading »

Innistrad Picks Part 1

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Sep 192011

With Magic the Gathering’s  Innistrad right around the corner, I have decided to do something I have never done.  I am am going to review a hand full cards from each color.  This will most likely take me 5 days and I will make mistakes.   The only thing left for me to do is select which color is first.  I think I will go Black, Blue, Green, Red, White and anything else.


In black I do see some potential for card quality.  My favorite cards in Black are, Blood Gift Demon, Liliana of the Veil, Endless Ranks, Morkhurt Banshee, and Skirsdag Piest.


Bloodgift Demon 3bb
Creature – Demon Rare
At the beginning of your upkeep, target player draws a card and loses 1 life.
He relishes the devotion of his Skirsdag puppets and their belief that it will earn them immortality.
Illus. Peter Mohrbacher #89/264 5/4

All I have to say is a 5/4 flyer for 5 is good.  In the current environment he is not that good, but keep in mind we will be changing things very soon.  But I doubt he will replace any of the current staples in Standard.

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Building 16k the Beginning

 Building 16000  Comments Off on Building 16k the Beginning
Sep 192011

This is my tale of building 16k.  It will include everything from lists, to painting, and maybe more.


Yes, I know you are thinking this is crazy. Who would build a 16,000 point fantasy army. Well, most of think it is, but most of us around here like to play with all of our toys and we do not fall into your standard category of just playing one list. Which we actually believe to be a great gaming crime. So, it actually makes sense for us to play a large game.

I have to thank my buddy for this idea though. About 4 years ago he purchased 16k plus worth of vampire counts. Ever since I have been trying to catch up.

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