I like to think about things, and if I don't collect the thoughts somewhere then they'll all fall out of my head. Consider this my "spare-brain-thoughts farm".

Friday, 24 February 2012

Love Is In The Air - Ripley/Stoke

In which we read about my shortcomings at playing cards.

February means that Love Is In The Air, which has nothing to do with Valentines day, and has more to do with giving me another excuse to play cards.

For the Stoke event, I played the Alliance Warrior deck from my previous entry and for the Ripley event, I played Grand Crusader Dragonkin Rush WTB Drawpower Thing Medley.

 Stoke event:-

Game 1, vs Ben Dunbar
A quick game. A starting hand featuring Mekkatorque, Magni, Polished Breatplate of Valor, Golem Skull Helm and Triton Legplates was what sealed the deal.

Ben played a monster Shaman deck revolving around Ogres+ Colossal Totem to spam the field quickly. However he couldn't deal with a 10/10 Mekkatorque and Assault 10 from Triton Legplates

I got a good hand of equipment, including Triton Legplates and Polished Breastplates. Combined with a lucky Magni draw, I quickly got my health into the 40s and managed to mitigate damage. Turn 6 and 7 were spent dealing with his allies whilst I got the rest of the equipment I needed to pump up Mekkatorque.

Game 2, vs Jonny Roberts
Being as good at this game as I am, I attempted to target the Untargetable whilst Jonny was quite happy to ignore me and continuously play Harmonize allies and Muln Earthfury. Whilst I was expecting Mazu'kons to come out quickly, I was more surprised by the Keeper Remulos + Karkas Deathhowl that I didn't see coming. Jonny quickly made 11,000,000 tokens and then smashed my lifeless corpse with them.

To top things off, I had a terrible opening hand, even mulliganed. There was a Magni in it, which made me think I might be able to do something, but I drew into too much high cost armour and not enough allies to deal with his quickly building swarm of Harmonize allies.

Game 3, vs Aiden Laycock
Well, I didn't expect to beat Jonny but I thought I might here. Aiden was playing Token Druid rush with Crown of the Heavens cards mostly. Whilst I managed to lay down a silly amount of armour quickly, he had an answer to every single one of my high-threat cards. Burly Berta got Entangled. My 14/14 Mekkatorque that was about to swing for game was suddenly Entangling Roots'd. 

It was a Wild Cascade that sealed the deal for Aiden though. Whilst I can handle about 10 separate packages of damage, I can't handle it if it keeps doubling the amount of damage packages with Wild Cascade.

When he got to 20 tokens with ferocity, that was game to Aiden. I reckon that if I'd dealt with his Ancient ally giving his tokens ferocity, then I could have done something with the extra turn or two it would have bought me.

Game 4, vs Eddie Skelson
Long, drawn out game. Opening hand featured lots of armour and a Bloodied Arcanite Reaper and a Bromor, but little else.

Ed was playing an amalgamated Hunter deck with Ysera, dragonkin, Eranikus, Tesla and various other things.

Advantage was all over the place in this game. I was happily dropping armour after armour to mitigate the Steady Shot and few allies he was dropping, but Ed was resource ramping quickly with Lifewardens and Eranikus. By turn 7 Ysera was on the table with her mend and draw, but I had a Bloodied Arcanite Reaper with 2 heirloom counters on it. At this point though, I didn't have any allies of my own so I was relying on the 11 damage a turn I was swinging for to pop his big threats before they lowered my health. All the while Ed was healing down the damage I'd dealt to his hero whilst trying to get through my wall of armour.

A late Tesla with a pair of Azure Skyrazors managed to get him to push damage through. I was sweating at this point since I hadn't seen a single ally since my starting hand to help deal with the opposing swarm. And thats when Ed started dropping abilities to ramp his allies up with an additional Assault 4 on 4 allies and his hero. The extra 20 damage was way more than I could handle and that was my defeat, putting me in last place in the standings.

Just to take the piss, my next card was Mekkatorque who would have come out as a 20/20 and put me over the top to win.

Oh well, the things you can do if you had just one more turn.

Ripley event :-

Game 1, vs Adam Parsonage
Pars showed up to give me a lift to Ripley and accidentally wound up registering in the tournament itself. He was playing a Heal and Deal beatdown out of Alliance Priest. Unfortunately for Pars, my opening hand was what I like to call "Taste The Rainbow": Drax Felfuse, Emerald Captain, Azure Magus, Bronze Drake, Ruby Stalker and a Seeds of Their Demise (So many colours...).

Turn 1 was my normal Bronze Drake drop for the extra turn of damage. Turn 2 was Drax. Turn 3 I swung with an 8 attack Drax and filled my field out. A Bronze Warden saved me from his Burly Bertas whilst I spent the next 2 turns finishing his health off with my filled field.

Game 2, vs Oli Ward
Oli was playing Rogue, featuring Boundless Thievery and Poison The Well to hamper Grand Crusader.

My opening hand featured 3 Drax Felfuses and 2 1-drop dragons. I played the slow game and went for the turns 2-4 Drax drops, and turn 5 to drop the dragons I'd drawn into. I managed to make a massive swing for 30 damage, but a Sap stopped me from winning there and then. My turn 6 draw was Grand Crusader, buffing my field of Bronze Drakes, Bronze Guardians, Drax Felfuse, Ruby Stalkers. I used the stealth from Ruby Stalker to swing past his protectors and win.

Game 3, vs Julian Harse
Things went wrong here. Julian was playing an Alliance Hunter, which I wrongly assumed would be a control deck. My hand was an actual Grand Crusader hand, Bronze Warden, Bottled Light, Grand Crusader, Telor Sunsurge; for once there was no sight of my Drax Felfuse or my dragons. The first few rounds were played strategically, comprising of trading off allies for other allies.
Then from turn 4 onwards, I stopped drawing quests and started running out of cards. A lack of Girdle left me in an awkward place and Julian outpaced me quickly. I lost succinctly.

Game 4, vs Jonny Roberts
An average hand, and a close game (As far as I was concerned). I feel that if I hadn't made a small mistake on my third turn, then I could have won this game. I had a Bronze Warden, Bronze Drake and Ruby Stalker in hand. With 2 resources on the field, and 7 damage on my Hero from Jonny's Ice Barrier, I should have played the Stalker followed by the Warden to heal for 3, then rowed another resource and played the Drake for that precious Assault 1 on my Hero. I missed the middle part and played my resource first, not healing the 3.

Turn 6 Jonny got a Mazu'kon down and bypassed my field of Drax, Stalker, Drake and Azure Magus. The hit from Mazu'kon left me on 6 health exactly, meaning if I didn't kill his Hero there and then in my turn, then I couldn't win. A quick Delve showed me that my next 2 cards would both be Censure, dealing with the Mazu'kon problem for 2 turns. I couldn't find any drawpower in my hand or on my field. With less than 12 attack on the board, I couldn't deal with Mazu'kon threatening my health in that turn. It was a win in Jonny's favour, making me wish that I hadn't messed up my resource/ally order back on turn 3 so I'd have a chance to draw the first of those 2 Censures.

The 2/2 win/loss ratio put me in 4th place of 8 players, which was acceptable, especially compared to my poor performance in Stoke.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

If your Dad doesn't have a beard, you've got two Mums. Two beardless Mums.

In which we discuss blue beards.

By blue beards, I do mean Alliance flavoured Dwarves. Because it's not a day unless I blog about WoW cards. Though do check out the video. The Beards are extroidanarily good.

So. Beards DWARVES are the theme for todays deck. The original deck was created back in the Drums/Scourgewar/Worldbreaker days of core constructed, before the switch to a 2-block system. I also can't take credit for the deck, it was the concoction of a friend of mine.

The theme is simple, use Magni, the Mountain Beard for his effect and a Beard Warrior Hero to get access to all the delicious plate armour. Utilising Polished Breastplate Of Valor and various stash cards to keep adding armour and health and Bloodied Arcanite Reaper to keep adding damage to their face.

So, decklist:

Stromdak of Ironforge

Master Hero:
[2] Nozdormu the Timeless

[4] Magni, The Mountain King
[2] Mekkatorque, King of the Gnomes
[3] Jerrak Krandle
[2] Vandos, Herald of War
[2] Kentro Slade

[2] Enraged Rengeneration
[1] Bladestorm
[2] Augment Steel
[3] Brutal Strike
[2] Shockwave
[2] Twisted Rampage
[3] Whirlwind

[4] Polished Breastplate of Valor
[3] Bloodied Arcanite Reaper
[2] Warmace of Menethil
[1] Wild Hammer
[1] Triton Legplates
[2] The Horseman's Horrific Helm
[2] Bloodbane's Fall
[4] Gravitational Pull
[4] Dread Pirate Ring
[4] Swift Hand of Justice

[4] Seeds of Their Demise
[2] Grimtotem Weapon

Like my other decks, this is a bit twisted and not very stable (Little draw power, for example). Mostly due to a lack of rares, partly due to time constraints for writing this list and not playtesting it yet.

Regardless, I'm going to tweak this deck overnight and then debut it at my local Love Is In The Air event tomorrow night. I might even actually write up the event for once.

His name is Sentry the Defiant.

In which we talk about his name.

Did you know his name is Sentry the Defiant?
As a Valentines present, Mr. Claudio Sanchez uploaded this video to the official Coheed site and Youtube (with free downloadable audio) with a message telling us that the new album is coming.

After a bit of digging around, I found an interview with Claudio that confirms this album as being tied to the previous concept albums by being in the same universe of The Amory Wars, but being set long before the events leading to The Crowing. A separate story in its own right.

I'll happily admit that my favourite thing about concept albums is attempting to decipher and disseminate their many potential meanings from the lyrics. With the Amory Wars storyline, it's been a lot of fun since it's such a wide open world and there's so little information available from the songs themselves.

I managed to break the lyrics down to this:

Believer, your spotlights on the subject so incorrect.
And suggestion, suggest that I’m someone you should not respect
Oh, you wear your fa├žade so well, covered up in a plastic shell
You’re a liar to everyone around you, just don’t forget

Face the honest truth
You were never you
Now be defiant, the Lion
Give them a fight that will open their eyes.
Hangman hooded, softly swinging.
Don’t close the coffin yet, I’m alive!
And it’s homecoming, and it’s homecoming.

Can you remember when there was no wrong in what I could do?
So young, biting off way more than I can chew
And then one day I grew too old, and my cares were now theirs to mold.
Please accept this as my resignation, it’s time to go.

Face the honest truth
You were never you
Now be defiant, the Lion
Give them a fight that will open their eyes.
Hangman hooded, softly swinging.
Don’t close the coffin yet, I’m alive!

I’m alive.

I will now bleed for what I believe in
No more mistakes for them to make, for me
So goodbye, it’s my time for me…

To be me.

Face the honest truth
You were never you
Now be defiant, the lion
Give them a fight that will open their eyes.
Hangman hooded, softly swinging.
Don’t close the coffin yet, I’m alive!

I’m alive!
I’m alive!
I’m alive!

My intial interpretation was that of a man on the executioners block, because that's the obvious thing. But there's a couple of other things here. I'm sticking with the execution idea for now.

The first verse seems almost like an accusation. Perhaps that of a man who has been caught for perpertrating a crime.
The second verse seems like a man lamenting his life to another person. Perhaps the "Please take this as my resignation" could be interpreted as the figure in-question turning himself over to the authorities.
The thrid verse looks like the last words spoken to an audience before the execution from the victim.

All in all, I'm looking forward to the new album. This song alone is very powerful, and the musical style harkens back to SSTB/IKSOSE:3 but retaining the strength from GA1&2.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Tables and high places.

In which we talk about the structure of my desk.

As a nerd, I spend a lot of my life at my computer desk doing nerd-related activities such as browsing the internet, playing video games, blogging and downloading huge amounts of porn organising charity events for orphans.

As a nerd, I also complain. A lot. Normally I complain about mainstream things, Star Wars or whatever some guy said to me on a forum, but in recent weeks, I've been complaining about my back problems. For the most part, I've only been complaining about the severity of the pain despite me being young and having superb back muscles.

About a week ago, I realised how low my monitors were on my computer desk, forcing me to hunch or slide back in my chair in order to compensate. It was suggested that I get some old magazines/books/DVD cases and prop my monitors up to eye level so that I'm leaning less and sitting up straight. Ergonomically speaking, this is almost a good idea since then I'd be in the most comfortable I could be without inciting health problems. However, I'm paranoid and have too much time on my hands, so instead of coming to this conclusion by myself, I instead pursued a different solution entirely: Standing Desks.

For those of you born without the incessant need to know everything in the world, ever; a Standing Desk is a tall desk that you stand at, rather than sit at.

I didn't randomly pluck this idea out of the air; it's been suggested to me before by a few others who use standing desks, and standing at a desk is supposedly healthier than sitting down all day. It was Lifehacker who turned me onto the idea of utilising a standing desk as well. Since I like to think of myself as a DIY kinda person I'm going about the process of turning an old broken trestle table into a standing desk by adding shelves and some latches so they can be removed

I'm going to use this blog as a way of chronicling my experience with a standing desk once I'm done

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Crown Of The Heavens: Or How I Learned To Stop Drafting and Start Loving Rogues

In which I blog about WoW cards again.

The second set in block 6 of my cardboard-crack addiction came out yesterday. Since I'm flat broke, I only picked up 1 Epic Collection and 9 boosters, not including sealed and prize stuff. As much as I'd love to type about how I pulled 3 epics and some decent rares, I thought I'd turn to my sealed event instead.

So, I headed down to my local card pit, GTG Games & Hobbies, for the Crown of the Heavens release party. I'm not normally one for sealed events due to my horrid levels of sucking at deckbuilding, by which I mean: I can't build decks to save my life.

Well, I'm not exactly terrible, but I do need time to look over a deck to spot my mistakes and in sealed events, I don't have that time available to me. Using the spoiler available here I had an idea of what commons I'd be using, but the deck would come down to the rares.

In 4 Crown boosters and 2 Throne, my rares came down to Tristani the Sunblade, Crown of the Ogre King, Preserve and Protect, Hagtrix the Mindsifter, Severed Visionary Tentacle and Unleash Inferno.
My commons and uncommons were fairly unimpressive.

I did have an overwhelming number of Alliance allies in comparison to Horde, but the Horde rares I pulled were what made me decide to go with the red option. There were more than enough neutral allies to pick up the slack.

Choice of hero came down to Warrior/Paladin/Death Knight so I could make use of some equipment. I went with Paladin since I already had Rohashu, Zealot of the Sun sleeved nearby and it could work with Preserve and Protect in case I might need some quick protectors.

So, with little time to go, I hastily threw the deck together with the final list being at 33 cards (Erk!):

Rohashu, Zealot of the Sun

[2] Jadefire Scout
[1] Murloc Coastrunner
[1] Izzy Quizfiz
[1] Abasha Windstorm
[1] Horngrim
[1] Thespius Bloodblaze
[1] Drotara the Bloodpoint
[1] Icaros the Sunward
[1] Jadefire Hellcaller
[1] Thunderpetal
[2] Jumahko Thundersky
[1] Tristani the Sunblade
[1] Hagtrix the Mindsifter
[1] Drak'narr
[1] Jadefire Felsworn
[1] Torr'nag

[1] Preserve and Protect
[1] Face of Fear
[1] Strength of Will
[1] Essence of Focus

[1] Bottled Cunning
[1] Belt of Absolute Zero
[1] Crown of the Ogre King
[1] Mandible of Beth'tilac

[2] The Battle Is Won, the War Goes On
[1] Signed In Blood
[1] Black Heart
[1] Reoccupation
[1] Seeds Of Their Demise

I took first place which netted me 2 more Jadefire Scout promos and 2 extra Crown boosters. In retrospect, these were the best allies I pulled (Few low cost cards was a real pain). I probably shouldn't have included the non-rare equipment since all I did was resource it rather than use it.

I'm vaguely annoyed that in all 3 games I didn't see my Crown of the Ogre King orTorr'nag. On the other hand, Tristani the Wincondition and Hagtrix the Mildannoyance pretty much won me all 3 games. Jadefire Felsworn and Drak'narr managed to create lots of threat in the end game but my abilities rarely saw play until game 3. The third game I basicly one with a Jadefire scout buffed up with both Strength of Will and Essence of Focus.

Plenty of fun was had. I would type more but I have an Alliance deck to build at last.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Rush me to the emergency room, I appear to have embedded a Dragon in my foot.


My previous deckbuild had a couple of major flaws. For one, the Hero card was incompatible with the only ability I had in the deck; The most important ability: Grand Crusader. And whilst I moaned about lack of drawpower, I completely forgot that Etched Dragonbone Girdle exists.

Anyway, I've made some revisions over the week to try and improve on my monstrosity of a deck.

Amah the Sun's Grace

[4] Emerald Captain
[4] Bronze Drake
[4] Bronze Warden
[4] Ruby Stalker
[2] Azure Magus
[4] Drax Felfuse
[2] Emerald Soldier
[4] Ruby Flameblade
[2] Telor Sunsurge
[3] Trade Prince Gallywix

[4] Exxi the Windshaper

[4] Grand Crusader
[4] Censure

[4] Etched Dragonbone Girdle
[4] Bottled Light

[4] Challenge to the Black Flight
[4] Dragon Unchained

There are a million-and-one things I'd like to include in this build but just can't get my hands on at the moment. Above all; Twilight Citadels.

It's a bit of a mess, considering I'm lacking some of the power cards I wanted for this build (i.e Cairnes, Sava'gins, Mazu'kons), and the equipment I intended to use is elsewhere. I tried filling in the gaps with a few extra dragons, but they had no place at all. I settled on Gallywix (Cost 2/Works with Drax kindof), Exxi (Double attacking Drax/Combos with Gallywix) and Telor Sunsurge (See keyword).

I need to get into the habit of building decks 7 hours before my train...

Next week on my totally-not-a-tcg blog, Dwarves. Dwarves. Dwarves.