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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Delver of Secrets and Insectile Aberration

My first alter of double-faced card. Up for grabs via Ebay (stsungjp), Magic Card Market (stsung) or directly from me, accepting offers.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Zepp sensor for Golf

Today we went to visit a local driving range and I had the chance to see how Zepp Golf works. It consists of a software and a sensor (dual accelerometers and 3-axis gyroscope) that measures speed and movement. The software analyzes your swing not only in written form but also it shows graphically in form of an animation. You can see the backswing, club plane or hand plane. All this you can see from any angle you want (you can rotate the model of you by sliding your finger in one or another direction).

In order to make this work you need to connect the sensor (that you put on your glove) with your device be it iphone, ipad or android device and then set the application. You can set your name, age etc but also your goals. Then you just set a club you are going to use and you are ready to go. Then you swing and after you hear a beep the data is stored on the device. If you have the device in your pocket it will also measure rotation of your hips.

You can view your swings individually or see average of your session (bellow is screenshot of one of my swings). It shows overall score, Club Speed, Club Plane, Hand Plane, Tempo, Back Swing, Hand Speed and Hips. Follows the description of the metrics from the application.

Club Speed
For golf professionals, a typical driver clubhead speed is 110-115 mph (177-185 kph) and for women professionals, it’s 90-100 mph (145-161 kph). Most "average" golfers don't approach those speeds. A typical recreational male is swinging somewhere in the neighborhood of 85 mph (137 kph), while a typical amateur female golfer is about 65 mph (105 kph).

Club Plane
This measures how closely your backswing plane matches your downswing plane. Ideally, the higher the percentage, the better the golf swing.
Most professionals are at 90-100 percent matching. Amateurs have a much harder time matching the backswing to the downswing. Most have a downswing that comes “over” the plane, causing a steep downswing and a ball flight that slices.

Hand Plane
Hand Plane Comparison measures the path your hands make in the backswing compared to the path they make on the downswing. Ideally, the higher the percentage, the better the golf swing.
Hand Plane Comparison is important because the club head will follow where the hands go. Most professionals are at 90 -100 percent matching. Amateurs have a much harder time matching hand path. The majority have a hand path that comes “over” the plane causing a steep downswing and a ball flight that goes right.

Tempo
Tempo is the ratio of the measured time in seconds it takes to make a back swing versus the measured rate of time in seconds it takes to make a downswing until impact. Tempo is the natural rhythm and timing of the swing. You want your swing to not only happen in a timely manner but in a consistent way with every swing.
A golf professional’s average time for the backswing is 0.82 seconds, with an additional 0.27 seconds to make the down swing to impact. That is an ideal ratio of 3:1. Most amateurs get into trouble with inconsistent changing tempo from swing to swing. Usually your downswing time in the Tempo screen is consistently the same. It’s your backswing time that is the culprit, changing from swing to swing.
I have problems with going up with club...

Backswing
This is the measurement of degrees of the angle of the club shaft between address and the top of backswing. It is measured by the change in angle at address to the angle at the top of the swing. At address the club is at zero (0) degrees. At the top of the swing it is 270 degrees.
I need to work on this^^

Hand Speed
This is a measure in miles per hour (MPH) or kilometers per hour (KPH) of how fast your hands are traveling at the point it impacts the golf ball.
For golf professionals, a typical hand speed is 24-26 mph and for women professionals, it’s 18-20 mph. Most "average" golfers don't approach those speeds. A typical recreational male is swinging somewhere in the neighborhood of 16-17 mph, while a typical amateur female golfer is about 13- 14 mph.

Speed certainly is not my problem...

Hips
Hip Rotation measures the degrees you rotate your hips on the backswing and then the degrees of rotation at impact. The reason why Hip Rotation is important is because that is where most of the power in a golf swing comes from.
The average golf professional has an average hip rotation of 45 degrees closed to the target at the top of the backswing, and at impact, they rotate their hips to an average of 42 degrees open (facing the target). Most amateurs, under rotate their hips on both the backswing and the downswing.

Overall this gadget looks like a good thing. At least for those who are capable of using the data to improve. I know now what I do wrong by just seeing the numbers. Even though the animation shows a lot (not that much in my case). If this is worth 150USD that's up to you, but in my opinion this is something that can really help and improve your game.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Random Photo of the Day

When I was on my way out of the flat I noticed a red light on the wall so I decided to use it for a photo....couldn't thing of an object I would take a pic of...so I took a photo of myself....

Yet more Ponders!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ponder no.2

The Right Play vs. Spectators

(the examples used here are not the best examples to use, but they are recent and these situations slowly led to me feeling really upset about behaviour of some people. prepare for wall of text, I've been holding this inside me for a really long time...I hope it is 'understadable and readable')

After today's tournament I'm really fed up with some people. The onlookers watching your game and saying that you should have done this or that or your opponent that says that the deck he plays is bad even though you can clearly see that he should have won the game you played at that time. Or that you missed that or that trigger over there even though you don't need the trigger to trigger in order to win. While it's MAY trigger you can just forget about it and that's what I sometimes do. I knew that I would win unless my opponent would have Boros Charm + 3 damage burn spell and I would kill him in 1 or 2 turns later. In this case 2 turns, but I drew a card that would make it one turn if I would have not missed the trigger. That wasn't relevant to me because any combination of 3 cards and 3 mana would not be able to finish me off and there was nothing that could wreck my board.

When I'm nervous or upset in some way (like when someone watches me and comments my game all the time or keeps insulting me) I rather try to stay alive and win and omit information that is not relevant to that or information that would make me mess the game up. This can produce a very bad play and I'm well aware of that. For example there was a game I played against Hermit combo and all I needed to do was remove Memory's Journey at correct time. I was afraid I would mess it up by concentrating on removing that card from the graveyard but I knew that my opponent would need one more green (or blue, not sure now) mana and one more CMC1 creature to kill me. And even if he would be able to produce that I would simply counter the creature and the win con card. Thus I did not do the right play but I won the game and was 100% certain I would win it.

I'm not the best player in the world and the definition of the best play is not clear and probably won't ever be but in situations like this who is there to judge? I rather win my own way even though it is a stupid way or not the best way there is.

Any play that seems completely wierd or is unusual can win a game or be the right play in a game. Sometimes such play is done as a mistake but sometimes it is calculated play and the player knows what he needs to do. Few days ago in a draft I needed to draw one single card dealing damage to my opponent. So I tried to survive while my creatures were dying and I was waiting for the card which I had quite high probability of drawing. After losing 3/4 of my life I drew a creature that makes my opponent lose life when it dies. I had removal in my hand so I killed the creature dealing the last damage I needed in order to win. This was pretty straightforward play but well...you don't usually play removal spells on your creatures right? Unless it is something like Path To Exile on your own creature to search for a land you desperately need or killing your creature in order to let your opponent not gain 3 life out off Lightning Helix. At today's tournament I won a game against burn because my opponent did not play Rift Bolt for 2R but suspended the card. He did not even think of it and did not consider this play bad. I on the other hand knew at that moment that I can win this game I was not supposed to win. During the game he complained that the deck is bad and that it can't win games. The deck can do it, but it needs to be piloted well. I didn't want to say that but it is the truth. For example I know that if I play Merfolk or Burn I'm most likely to lose quite high percentage of games I should win. If I play control or combo I'll probably do better than others.

What I really hate is when people consider my play bad not seeing what I want to achieve or tell me that this is completely useless etc. I'm most of the time aware of what can kill me, I can be wrong (as I did not expect Thassa to finish me off in Modern Merfolk deck. I had everything covered except this..and I lost. If I would have thought of it I would have won). In a sealed deck of Theros I played against one Czech pro player. He had a 4/4 flyer in play. He was attacking with it and I couldn't block it, my deck was light on flyers and especially 4/4 flyers. This was pretty bad for me. But I drew Celestial Archon that could possibly save me, in fact it was THE ONLY card that could save me. One person was watching the game and when I did not block the attacking 4/4 with the Archon he started to call me an idiot and other names. At this point I just couldn't block because it was HIGHLY probably that my opponent would play any pump spell and I would lose my only out and win condition. I had other plans. On my turn I played Hopeful Eidolon on the Archon and attacked to gain some life. This way I could actually win the game by dealing damage and gaining life. Unfornutaly my opponent's flyer also got enchanted with two enchantments later in the game and I was forced to block and use my tricks in order to keep my Archon alive. My opponent played a pump spell and killed my Archon. At that moment he told the onlooker that he had this card in his hand since the beginning of the game. I lost this game but I won this match 2:1. My play was certainly better than the one that was 'advised' and for which I was scolded.

And as useless goes...There are many times when you do something and you don't use it and thus it becomes 'useless'. Adam Koska is the person who taught me that doing such seemingly useless or improbable things can lead to victory. Years ago while playing limited I always lost to him and I knew that any kind of resistence wouldn't help. That is the reason why I stopped using some of the cards I had in play as they wouldn't change the result of the game. In these matches it was completely useless. But sometimes it can make difference and I see that now (for years already but well). When I played against Adam this Sunday I could have done something to help me in one way or other. He played Inquisition of Kozilek. My only card was Intuition. I played the card but I wasn't really sure what to do. I had 2 possibilities. I wasn't really thinking that the second but the right one possibility could possibly lead to victory because it would mean that I would have to draw certain creature + a card that would let me discard it. And all this would have to happen in one turn in which I would also reanimate that. I decided that this is the most unlikely scenario and decided to search for three cards that I don't need at all and that I'd rather keep 3 good cards in a deck and not ending up with one big creature in my hand and 2 in the yard where they weren't really safe (possibility one). This way I had slightly higher possibility to draw something better. And you know what happened? My top deck was Careful Study. And you know what I drew of the Study? The only two cards I would have won the game with if only I would have pursued the second possibility I deemed almost impossible. I lost the match because of my decision. Was it a bad play? Yes, because by searching for three cards that Inquisition of Kozilek cannot discard I would gain bigger advantage than in what I actually did. I've made another wierd decision during that tournament. I had the possibility of winning the game by reanimating a combo. But in order to have the possibility to win I had to discard the 2 of my removal cards (there were only 2 other removal spells in my deck). Not having the possibility to win, I would have to use the removal spells and draw a tutor once again and hope that my opponent wouldn't play anything in the meantime. Due to my tutor not ending up well I died to a creature that landed there that turn that I couldn't deal with. Was this a bad decision? You tell me. If I would have kept the removal spell I would give time to both of us, but I was in top deck mode and my opponent had a hand full of cards.

Another situation from few days ago. My opponent killed all my mana dorks during the combat phase. I produced all the mana I could and was rewarded with a silly look. It was clear for him that it is useless for me to do such a thing and that there's possibly nothing that I could play at that time. But he was wrong and it was clear that he did not even think that something could kill him right there in the combat phase. My opponent was down to 2 life. I had Chord of Calling in my hand, 4 lands in play untapped and 3 mana floating from my Hierarchs. I could search for a card with CMC4 and deal 2 damage to him in the process. I don't like situations like this, I'm mocked for a play like this even though it is the right play for me and usually leads to victory. Fortunately the player sitting next to me was well aware of this actually happening and that calmed me down a bit.

Today I also played against a player who was piloting BG Rock (for the first time so he was kinda lost). In the first game he had Courser of Kruphix and Taqrmogoyf that was 5/6. Also had 2 Treetop Villages and bunch of removal spells in his hand. He could have killed me in 2 or at most 3 turns but he didn't do it. He didn't know how to pilot the deck or simply couldn't count the damage I would take or he did not consider the fact that alpha strike would actually force me to block with everything and the next turn I would have a sole blocker for the Tarmogoyf and possible one more for the second attacker (survivor from the last attack). Yes, half of his board would be gone but it would lead to victory. The only blocker that would stay in play in my case was Thrun. But in order to survive I would have to play another creature that would certainly not have hexproof and would die to removal and I would lose anyway. Seeing this I continued playing and I knew that my chances of winning are not high but that I could still win. After 35 minutes we were still playing and people started to gather around us. I was ok with this game going awry and several times I considered scooping up. But I could win the game if I pursued certain way. When my opponent played his second Confidant the 'awesome' comments started. Like that it was silly to play a second Confidant, that it will cause him to lose the game etc. But with 2 Coursers in play, 16 life and one card from victory it wasn't silly at all. At this moment I knew that I won't win but still had one possible draw after I managed to get to the 'position' I needed. My only chance of winning was hitting a Pod or Chord of Calling and in the meantime I needed to get rid of Dismember, Slaughter Pact and Abrupt Decay from his hand. To do this I always forced a block that would threaten his Tarmogoyf - Goyf being my only 'attacking' threat. This forced my opponent to use the removal spells. I even attacked with Shriekmaw threatening to kill Liliana of the Veil but to my surprise my opponent used the removal spell and killed the creature (even though Liliana of the Veil was doomed to die or not be of use anyway). My opponent got good cards from the Confidant and mainly got Maelstrom Pulse that killed three of my creatures. I used Scavenging Ooze's ability to gain some life even though I knew this would be irrelevant and scried to see that a win condition is on top of my library (so I did not scry for the rest of the turn). In order to win I needed to be able to block, survive and still have relevant creatures in play. After doing the math I realized that it is not possible possible. At this point players next to me started saying things like that I should have used more mana feeding the Ooze because I would have survived or that I should have used the Seer's ability to look for something etc (probably did not notice that I actually knew what is on top of my library). They were 'convinced' that if I would make a better play I could survive or win. If I would have used the Ooze ability I would actually survive with 1 life but I would lose everything on the board. With not using the Ooze I would still be left with 2 more creatures. Unfortunately not those creatures I needed for the combo and blocking Treetop Village with 0/1 creature does not really work well when the difference of one life matters (I needed to block with a combo piece). I lost the game after 40 minutes but should have lost like 10 minutes after the game started. The whole time I had a plan how to win and I almost got there. I needed one more turn to win on the spot but (un)fortunately for me the game ended in my opponent drawing the card he needed to quicken the game (Pulse). All the comments that I heard during the game were actually completely wrong considering my plan. Did any of them or even my opponent know what was going on in my case? I was always one card away from vitory but there was a window for it the turn I died and the turn before it (in which I drew blindly something completely irrelevant - Razorverge Thicket, when I scried last time I put a land on the bottom of my library). And for that the players just shake their heads because what I did was no RIGHT.

This actually reminds me why I picked up Birthing Pod. There is one player that always insults me during the game. He played Pod during those tournaments and I played Zoo. I won most of the games and yes I was lucky in some games but I knew this could possibly happen and I also knew that I'm Chord of Calling away from death. But no matter what I'm called names I wouldn't say myself and my draw considered godly (thus also meaning that I don't need to use my brain to play the game). Oh yeah, I was saving removal for the combo pieces as the deck could kill me out of nowhere. That is the reason why I had 'everything' when the time came and was called names once again. I managed to mess up the very first game a lot but not because I didn't know how Birthing Pod deck works but because my deck was working in a completely different way than it used to work while it was legal at Extended/Legacy. I was taken aback by finding this out and found it hard to believe. That is the reason why I managed to mess up completely a game I should have clearly won. By messing up I prolonged the game and could easily lose. But that doesn't mean I'm stupid and that I should be scolded for it and then being told that I did not deserve to win the game. I did not deserve it in my opinion but I tried to survive and still win as there was still chance that I would actually win and I won. The reason why I continued was also that I knew that I play against someone who does not play that well and also I was fed up with his talk. (If I would have played against a reasonable player I would most probably scoop after my fiasco play.) This kind of behaviour during the game (not only during the game) should not be tolerated. But for some reason it is very common here and happens all the time and even if I ask a TO to do something about it he usually does nothing. Me saying something to the players does not work either. Anyway after several games against this player I decided to play Pod myself because I knew that I can pilot it and that I can win games with it fairly easily. Not to mention that it is better deck than Zoo. I hoped we would be paired against each other once again and 2-3 games should show that I actually know what I'm doing. Anyway going 4:0 at a tournament doesn't really matter either. It does not prove anything. Anything can happen by accident, that's what some people think and they are right to some extent. Luck helps but there are games I had to win the hard way. Majority of them actually. Luck only won't help (see above). And it is not because my deck (or whoever build the deck) is better, but because my skill is better or because I have more experience than my opponent. (not going to discuss the things like bad match up etc. it's just to show the point.)

During my lifetime I went through a lot while playing Magic at tournaments. From my opponent calling a judge to count the number of my cards or checking my decklist because I'm a little silly girl to someone yelling at me that I girls should go home and never play a game of Magic because girls don't have the brains for that (hopefully this guy was actually kicked out of the LGS). Many players underestimated me or said that it was just pure luck that I've won. I was capable of overcoming this and sometimes have some fun even. But I'm already fed up with this. Guys I play Magic since the Dark. I'm not the best player out there but I use my brain when I play. And no matter what if I do a silly play I just do it and it is ok. Everyone does that. We are humans. We should be allowed to learn from our mistakes not mocked because of them. By realizing our mistakes we learn. By taunting someone you don't help him. I'm aware that most of you just don't like the idea of helping someone but well you should at least show some respect. Someone starts to play and you taunt himn for every play you don't consider right? If you would have known in how many cases you are the one actually wrong would you stop? I apologize for addressing everyone, it's meant to target only those who do it.

I hate spectators and it makes me nervous. It makes me lose a game that should end in my favor. I could deal with people watching me and being silent. But when someone starts to tell someone else how one of the players is silly because he didn't do this or that. Or that there was a missed trigger (that was optional) or even says something about a card one of the players have in their hands and then it becomes obvious to the other player I just find it outrageous. One thing is to look at the game and be silent which is fine (even though I can't take that either) and the other one is literally ruining one's game. If the comments are completely off it is even worse. I was watching a game of Jund vs Junk Reanimator. The Junk player in order to win just needed to flashback Unburial Rites. The Jund player was in no situation to win. The spectators were commenting the game and commenting each card drawn, how this or that would be good and they expected the Jund player to win etc. But the Jund played couldn't do anything just hope for a miracle. The Junk player was utterly lost. Later he drew Angel of Serenity that won him the game but even at that time when looking in his yard he did not realize that Rites were there all the time waiting. I just couldn't listen to those comments. The game was fine and anyone can forget about his Cabal Therapy, Unburial Rites or whatever. it happens. But when there are 2 people out of 10 that know what's actually going on in the game they watch it's not good. The worst is that these people don't find out later that they were wrong all the time and all that mocking and even scolding was misplaced. Many times these people should just facepalm themselves.

That's about it...I just can't type anymore. I just can't stand it. I'm glad that there is something like Tournament Rules but sometimes I would be glad if people would behave accordingly. And I don't speak about cheating. I've given up on this already, if someone cheats I let him because I had too much of cheating accidents in the past and some were simply not resolve because the judge did not want to and appealing didn't work either (rather not talk about that or I'll be even more angry). But this should NOT BE HAPPENING. So I hope at least some new Judges and TOs together with the 'old' ones will make things right.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lord of the Rings - Gandalf

Mutavault

Sometimes when I let someone play with my cards that person returns them in a state I can no longer look at them. This card was in a bad shape already and it was mainly torn in half (just by a bit). After I got it back few days ago it showed a lot more of wear and scratches. I really wonder how people do that... So I decided to paint on it with the hope that it would actually look better. This is how it turned out...

While painting on this card I found out that I cannot even paint a simple rock...how encouraging^_~.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Modern Adventure

This will be probably a post with pretty random information in it, but I feel like writing something about this (me playing modern in the last few weeks). With the banning of Deathrite Shaman and unbanning of Wild Nacatl I wanted to build something 'new' but I failed at it. From playing with the deck and some insight from elsewhere I realized that Modern is completely different beast than I thought it is. But my perspective changed now and opened my eyes. Now I won't have a problem with figuring out what to put in my sideboard (I was struggling with that lately). Main deck is a different story. I won't break the format alone but I know what I want in a certain archetype.

After several tournaments with Zoo deck (that's the failure) I decided to change it. My Zoo deck was not fast enough nor 'Big' enough to be able to win more consistently. My records were 4:0 (the best card actually being Blood Moon in my SB), 1:3 (lost against Burn twice, Hatebears, won against Merfolk), 2:2 and the games I did not play at tournaments were more random than I would expect. I had games in which I just played bears for 2-3 mana (with one having +1 toughness) and couldn't do much else (and be overrun by hatebears that were actually DOING something). I was also pretty disappointed with Tarmogoyf in this deck. My recent changes consisted of adding Chandra Pyromancer (cutting Domri, in environment with not so many creatures this card seems better, also I did not run enough creatures. Her 0 ability proved to be better in the deck I put together) and Thundermaw Hellkite (totally playable even though +1 BoP would probably be a good thing. No idea what I would cut though, Lightning Helix is the card that I was running 2-4...so it would most probably be this card). These cards can be played after Blood Moon resolves and deal with my two problems - running out of cards and dealing the last 5 damage (I know this sounds crazy, but I usually ended the games I lost with my opponent having less than 5 life and I couldn't finish them off. Both Chandra and Hellkite can do this). Still this did not seem enough for the deck, it still was acting too random. So I decided to go for something else completely. I was deciding between two decks - Storm and Birthing Pod. Not my own brew but someone elses. I do not follow who brews what and who plays what at major tournaments so I cannot say where the origin of the deck comes from. I used LSV's decklist for the Pod and Fennel's for Storm. I went with LSV list mainly due to the fact that he runs almost all the combo pieces in one copy and has more possibilities what to do in the game. I like this much better and I know this from playing Melira Pod before GP Prague (January 2014). At that time I played 3 Voices, 1 Melira, 2 Seers, 2 Redcaps and I have to say that they were annoying in those numbers for me. If I would feel that I would need something in more copies in LSV's deck I would add it to the deck. Voice of Resurgence in more copies proved to be the only card I would add but even without 2 or more copies it worked just fine. As for Fennel's Storm list I just picked the first that showed up and was playing Faithless Looting. Anyone can be trying to convince me that Desperate Ravings is better but I prefer Looting and after today's game in which I resolved 8 copies of it and won the game with just all red mana in my mana pool I won't (most probably) switch to Ravings. Looting is about quality, not quantity and after Past in Flames it doesn't matter if the cards end up in the graveyard or nor. Storm count may be lower but with resolved Past in Flames it's just a question of finding Grapeshot. At least my point of view on this matter.

I'd like to get back to Zoo and give it another shot but this time I should think a bit more about deck construction. After listening to Chapin's Next Level Deckbuilding I realized that I really should concentrate on something else than I did at first and should finally accept the fact that Modern is not what Extended or Legacy used to be (I mean the old Extended). Modern is Turn 4 kill format and will most probably be full of combos nowadays. My deck should thus be either fast enough to kill on T4 or Big enough to be able to deal with T4 kill decks or do something really big to survive the 't4 kill' and Sphinx's Revelation won't do for me now in Modern. My Zoo deck was more like an old Extended Big Zoo build but that does not work that well in the environment now. 5c zoo is suicidal and 4c is tricky and can be punished by its manabase a lot. Counting with this my Big Zoo should be more Blood Moon proof and should be able to deal with Twin, Pod and Storm. My sideboard plan should actually BE A PLAN unlike before. But I couldn't come up with one as I wasn't getting enough consistency in my Zoo deck.

So I just put the deck aside and looked for cards for Melira Pod and UR Storm. Yeah finding my Pyromancer Ascension deck took a while. It's been quite a long time since I played Storm (not Legacy one). Birthing Pod just needed some small changes like...unsleeving Deathrite Shamans and adding Noble Hierarchs instead.

I sleeved both decks and tried them against other decks I have (not really the relevant portion of modern field - Burn, Big Zoo, Storm, Pod, Dredgevine). In the games I played Storm performed better but Pod was more fun. Pod was killing usually one turn later than Storm. I managed one t3 kill with it but that was just a coincidence. The Storm deck managed that few more times. Anyway I took the Pod deck to a local tournament. Before the tournament I found out that there's Grapeshot in it and that there was a card missing in my SB^_^. So I played with Grapeshot in my SB and I have to say that I would actually side it in all the matches. In all the games I played it would actually do something and I had a source of red....yeah sometimes more sources of red than I would want. I went 3:1. Not that it would mean much. But I learned that I like the deck and decided to take it to another tournament to see if I can pilot it or not.

Today I participated in another Modern event and managed to get 6th^^. I managed to lose few games due to not playing well and forgetting about cards my opponent or I myself put in a deck. In my first round against Merfolk I completely forgot about something like Thassa so I died to unblockable Mutavault. But I could have overcome this by just searching for Kitchen Finks, but my brain did not expect this outcome and decided that there's nothing I can fear and then that I can win with the combo next turn. The moral of the story - if you can get an advantage even though you think you don't need it just do it^_^. Few rounds later against Storm I completely forgot that I sided in Ethersworn Canonist. I just needed one more turn to play all the combo pieces but silly me, I did not use Pod to search for the Canonist^_^ I won all the other matches but I managed some serious misplays during some of them as well (*facepalm*) but it was mostly due to the fact that I forgot what my opponent is playing (but considering the fact that I was more or less asleep throughout the whole tournament I finished better than expected, I expected 0:x record).

After those 9 rounds in total I really would add Entomber Exarch. I really needed something costing 4 and I needed the card to have some kind of discard ability (mainly). I would also add Thrun in the SB and probably ditch Slaughter Pact. I wasn't sure if having the combo pieces just once in the deck is ok (except Kitchen Finks) but the deck works wonderfully. Sometimes it has a bunch of creatures that seem totally random but still it can beat down with them just fine. I had problems with black source of mana though. I should most probably fetch for black to have it earlier then wait for a fetchland to get the black source later. This did not work much and I lost like 3 games due to this. Once I managed to play Murderous Redcap using my 2 'expensive mountains' but otherwise no black as well...

And here's a photo from one of today's games. What can happen to you...Storm player went down to 1 life so it was his time to combo. He started to dig for Grapeshot but did not really have that much mana. But managed to get all three Grapeshots and hit me with them for 7, 8, 9. My life total at that time was 23. ^_^.

The first photo shows the finals from the smaller local tourney. That's when things get simply wrong. Neither of us could draw something that could end the game. But I was pretty lockdown by Suppression Field, Grafdigger's Cage, Leyline of Sanctity and Stony Silence. My hand consisted of Archangel of Thune and Spike Feeder. What you see was just the beginning. Next about ten turns my opponent was attacking for 18 with his boggle and I chumped it with something - trying to keep 7 mana open for Gavony Township. Spike Feeder survived in the game unlike the Angel and was adding me 2 life once per 3 turns (as I did not have enough mana to do it each of my turns). Thrun helped as well but my opponent then started playing more boggles and enchanted both of them with Ethereal Armor which was too much for me. He couldn't draw a single Rancor or Spirit Mantle. It was quite fun^_^. But well I could hardly win that one.

The pod decklist follows.
Birthing Pod
By STsung

1 Archangel of Thune
4 Birds of Paradise
1 Eternal Witness
4 Kitchen Finks
1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
1 Melira, Sylvok Outcast
1 Murderous Redcap
3 Noble Hierarch
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Ranger of Eos
1 Reveillark
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Shriekmaw
1 Spellskite
1 Spike Feeder
1 Thrun, the Last Troll
1 Viscera Seer
1 Voice of Resurgence
1 Blade Splicer
1 Wall of Roots

2 Abrupt Decay
4 Birthing Pod
3 Chord of Calling

3 Forest
3 Gavony Township
1 Godless Shrine
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Overgrown Tomb
3 Razorverge Thicket
1 Swamp
2 Temple Garden
4 Verdant Catacombs
Sideboard:
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Harmonic Sliver
1 Kataki, War's Wage
1 Orzhov Pontiff
3 Path to Exile
1 Sin Collector
1 Slaughter Pact
4 Thoughtseize
1 Obstinate Baloth
+ Grapeshot (as it accidentally got there...from my Storm deck obviously)
The last card in my sideboard was actually Scavenging Ooze.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Jewel Galaxy

Yesterday I discovered a game named Jewel Galaxy. It is a puzzle game developed by Gamepocket studio. The game is available for iPhone and iPad.

In this game you match 3 or more jewels to collect them. In each level you are given a task. You are either limited by time or moves and you need to achieve a certain score or break golden borders. At the beginning of your game you have certain amount of hearts. When you fail one level you lose a heart. If you ran out of hearts you need to wait 30 minutes to get 1 heart back so you can continue playing. You can also buy the hearts but that costs real money. With money you can buy some other stuff that can help you in your quest. To get to a third constellation you need to pass three challenges but you can pass one challenge a day. That was not funny! But on the other hand the game is completely free. You pay with time as usual...but in a different way. You pay with time that you cannot play the game. Quite odd but I like the idea.

In each level you'll see something as in the screenshot above. There are the gems you are collecting, stone, gems in stone, gems set in metal and other stuff. Anything containing stone can be broken using a pick icon. This does not cost a move AFAIK. The gems in metal cannot be broken but can only be collected (this gems being part of a triple or more..). A multicolored star works as any kind of a gem. Sometimes (in the level with time limit) you'll encounter frozen gems. You can break those by tapping them three times.

Some objectives like the one above need you to get a certain score in certain number of moves or less. In order to do that it is good to know the scoring system. If you make a triple you'll get three points. After you first three gems a 'multiplicator' indicated by yellow squares will go up by 1. This means that the points from the gems are multiplied by the number indicated. If you will be doing threes in succession the number can go up to 10. If you break your succession the number will go back to 1. You can make double or triple lines as well. Sometimes you get lucky because gems of the correct color will spawn at the correct place creating a line. You'll get points for that as well. Sometimes there are some flashing gems that will appear. One kind (with number above it) when used within 3 moves will give you additional 100 points. The other flashing gem will clear out the whole line in which you created your trio of the same gems - meaning extra points I guess. Knowing this you can set up your board first and then start creating lines with each move.

When breaking golden borders you'll be doing the same trio lines. When you get three gems next to each other they will disappear as usual but also the golden border will be broken. When the golden border is a solid line it needs to be broken twice. If dashed you just need to break it once. It's good to have some system. In such levels the score does not really matter that much.

If you like puzzle games this is one of the games that is fun and nicely done. The only thing I don't really like about it is the sound track you hear all the time. But sound and/or music can be turned off.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

(Series) Helix

I ask my sister from time to time what series I should watch. She told me that someone else told her that Helix is one of the better series (the other proposed was Blacklist, I should have watched that first). I picked Helix first because it is supposedly a science fiction/horror which I would prefer as a genre. Usually the series my sister tells me to watch are actually good but Helix was a shock.

CDC researchers come to an Arctic base where an outbreak (ok well..just three people infected at the beginning)of unknown virus took place. They are there to stop it and find a cure. That's the general plot line. Well the scientist arrive there and start doing their job. But things get awry and me as a viewer I couldn't believe how silly the characters can be. They never heard of responsibility. They are reckless and they do not seem to have any training at all. They even lack common sense completely for the most part.

One string of the virus turns the infected people into hostile and aggressive 'zombies' whose only need is to infect other people. Knowing this the scientists do not even take guards with them, they do not communicate or check up on each other etc. Security protocols? Contagion protocols? Ever heard of something like that? I wonder what the director or whoever was writing was doing when coming up with a show like this.

There are so many things simply wrong (scientifically) and these 'missteps' happen too often for me to take the show seriously. This is supposed to be drama/horror but all I can do is laugh to the stupidity of the characters/people doing it and asking questions. The story is nothing new even though we might get somewhere 'new'. At the beginning you get the feeling that this is Battlestar Galactica but it isn't. Later you see some Alien, The Thing and other movies/series ideas. Well nothing new, but the story goes on. So far there were too many predictable things so I hope that at least something will be a surprise and not in a bad way. At one point I proclaimed that this series would need Seven of Nine. With that I meant that she would come to the base and talk some sense into all the people on the base...few minutes later Jeri Ryan arrived and well made even a bigger mess there. The fact that you expect something to happen and it happens is not good...this should be a mystery/drama/horror series shouldn't it? (and I WON'T even try to say that this is a science-fiction series, because that would be an insult).

No really is there something good on the series? Acting? No. CGI? Hell no. Drama? Erm.. Love triangle? WTH? Mystery? Hm...no. Soundtrack? Yeah this one is interesting. I could do a better job, at least one that wouldn't struck you that much.

I just cannot express the disgust and disappointment with this series. Really if you want to play a 'what's scientifically wrong' drinking game just watch it. You'll be drunk in no time. How this series can get such a high rating? It's so dumb that even a high school kid has to be scratching his head and wondering how someone can survive at night in -60 degrees celsius. Or just well...how someone can get attacked (approach in the most dumb way)by a monkey and come unscathed. Also it seems that the director wanted as much female characters as he could put on the show... ...

..Um the only thing I wanted to say is. If you actually know something about science, have some common sense and cannot stand something that has no logic at all just don't watch this. I really have NO IDEA how this show managed to get a positive rating.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chandra Nalaar

Just killing time with Copics ...

Cabal Therapy

Cards in my ANT deck are not really in a good shape. This Cabal Therapy was missing part of its surface so I decided to paint it...just to make it look better.

Goblin Guide - Tundra

Both Guides