Magic the Gathering


It’s been a busy week and an even busier weekend. Or rather, it was a stressful week and a busy weekend. While having honest intentions of catching up on my reading (and responding to comments, for that matter), I had too much on my mind to focus on doing so. What was causing me so much stress, you ask? Was it an incredible career decision? No. Was it finding an amazingly spacious, yet affordable, new apartment for rent, which I have to arrange moving to? No. Well, what the freaking hell was it?

Deck building. Edit: The kind involving cards, not two-by-fours and a hammer. You're welcome, Dyanne!

Basically, debating on attending a major gaming tournament, and if so, what to play. That may be foreign to most of my reader base — deck building — but it’s pretty much the fundamental foundation of Magic: The Gathering. If you have no deck, you can’t play. Tournaments, naturally, call into play the necessity of building a good deck. What about a fun deck? Sure, fun too. But while building a deck you enjoy playing is important, you also want to build one that can win.

I went back and forth on attending the tournament, mainly due to the fact that I had no deck made to participate with. But alas, I could go on and on about that for hours. Instead, I will delve into the core reason you are visiting. Thankfulness!
  1. This Monday (Grandma Day) was a bit of a bummer since she wasn’t around most of the day. She had plans to get her hair done with my aunt, and they weren’t even back in the evening to watch our shows. I was Thankful, though, that the Ladyfolk and I were able to watch one of our shows with my father.
  2. I’m also Thankful my grandma was able to go out and get her hair done, even though I wish it was done on another day of the week!
  3. I’m assuming a large reason as to why they never made it back before the Ladyfolk and I left was because they went grocery shopping. It had been over a week since going, and I’m sure before they hit the grocery store they decided to grab some dinner. I’m glad she was able to finally buy some much needed necessities. Old (Grand)Mother Hubbard’s cupboards were bare.
  4. Once again, I am Thankful to have hung out with one of my good friends. He made a surprise visit and we engaged in our regular ritual of going out to eat Indian buffet, and walk around out swamp lake. It began to storm on our walk, which apparently scares the shit out of him. More precisely, the chance of being struck by lightning. The first roll of thunder sounded and that fucker was hauling ass down the path. I personally thought it was hilarious!
  5. That, despite my urges to not do so, I eventually registered for the Magic: The Gathering tournament this weekend. I registered 5 minutes before registry closed. See? My posts aren’t the only thing I do just under the wire. It’s a way of life, baby!
  1. I’m glad I eventually decided on a deck to play at the tournament.
  2. I’m very appreciative of friends who were able to borrow me the cards I needed to make the deck become a reality on such short notice. Also, that I was able to borrow cards out to those in need.
  3. That my brother gave me the special playmat the first 750 people to register (Friday) on-site got. I was under the belief that it meant the first 750 on-site Saturday. I have no idea why no one told me it was Friday, as it’s the main reason I mentioned countless times that I wanted to join the tournament — the mat, and a special foil promo card. It’s sweet he didn’t care much about the mat and gave it to me.
  4. That after a brutal start of going 0-3 (you needed to be X-2 to make it to the second day), meaning I was already out of any winnings, I decided to keep on playing. I thought about dropping out to participate in the multitude of side-events going on during the tournament, but that meant spending more cash. I then went on a 4 win streak! That was followed by a loss (in what I called the VIP section, behind a huge curtain, my round 8 games took place in). But then I finished up with a win, and ending on a positive 5-4 record. I believe the last Grand Prix tournament I participated I went 5-3-1. I’m getting better!
  5. I’m Thankful all of my opponents were extremely fun to play with. Sometimes you get people who are just a bit too serious about the game. I witnessed a few of those people engaged in games taking place next to mine. My sportsmanship was also complimented on, which I’m also very appreciative of! Sure, you want to win, but you also want to have fun attempting to do so!
Feel free to leave your Thankful List in the comments below, if you aren’t participating directly with the blog hop! Have you ever participated in a tournament? If so, what was it? Were you nervous about participating in it?

I just wanted to add an additional huge super special Thank You to my Ladyfolk, who cleaned and baked while I was away at the tournament Saturday! She is awesome! And so are the brownies with strawberries! I bet she thought I wasn’t going to mention anything about it!

Pffft… Sucka...


Back a few weeks ago (XVII | 10 Things of Thankful | XVII) I mentioned being inspired by a picture a friend drew for me. It came at a moment when I was on the fence about continuing the blogging or going on a hiatus. Even this coming NaNoWriMo seemed threatened. I wanted to share the picture, though if you are friends on FB you’ve already seen it I’m sure. I love it, and I just need to look at it if ever feeling negative about my writing (or lack thereof). I miss him and his wife. They moved to England years ago, but hopefully someday there will be a reunion.

Now onto the darker side of things. Obsessions. I like to call them passions, but it’s pretty subjective…

Below is part of my Magic the Gathering Collection. The majority of the boxes on the bottom are five-row boxes. The rest (in the back) are 4-row and 3-row boxes, while some 2-row are on top of them all. Almost all of these are plump full of Magic cards. Some contain supplies (a variety of sleeves, deck boxes, life-counters, etc), but the bulk is just cards. The 5-row boxes can hold up to 7k Magic cards, so those alone 77k, including the 4 and 3-row (just in this picture) is easily pushing 100k+ cards. I will share some more pictures, and detail random factoids throughout.

Only part of my beautiful collection!
  1. My tiger blanket being used to hide my Crooks-Clawed love seat/couch. It’s usually in the bedroom and is what I use to lure all the Fair Maidens to the Chamber of Love.
  2. The “Iron” Throne.
  3. Crooks’s table, otherwise known as Crooks’ Domain or Casterly Crooks.
  4. Various playmats I’ve accrued from playing Magic the Gathering.
  5. The box I have used to carry all my decks in to Magic Nights and casual events with friends. We are talking since high school. It’s my thing.
  6. The box I carry the playmats in #4 in. The 3-row box below it is the only empty box in the picture.
  7. Cards being sorted.

There are even some more cards in the hutch...
  1. Lamp that almost started my place on fire months ago that I’ve been slowplaying throwing out.
  2. My trade binder that I finally added cards to. Took me years to buy a binder for the purpose of trading and then longer to put cards in it. I still haven’t made a trade, and I likely never will. Would rather sell, and even that hasn’t happened.
  3. Stacks of cards I plan to gift.
  4. Crooks Deodorizer.
  5. Crooks Fur Remover.
  6. A LEGO creation.
  7. Don’t be fooled, that single row box is full of Pokemon cards!

This is the rack I store most of my collection on, tucked away in its own little world...
  1. Sealed product I didn’t want to move into the living room for the sake of taking pictures. Less moving means less chance of damage.
  2. Sealed Booster Box of Planeshift. Shame it wasn’t one of the more popular sets.
  3. Mage Knight dungeon pieces I felt would work perfect for running a D&D campaign with. I had lofty ideas of starting up a game with friends/family long ago, but never came to fruition and I never tore the pieces down.

I have others that were acquired through buying collections back in the day...
  1. Close-up of a playmat I received for attending the Grand Prix Mpls in 2012. It’s a huge event and I went 6-3. One less loss and I would have made Day 2, and possibly even been in-the-money. Would you believe I was even slowplayed during the tournament?
  2. Close-up of a random playmat someone let me borrow at an FNM (Friday Night Magic) event. I love it since it’s labeled as being “foil”, which is the type of card I obsess about the most. He left before I was through and I never saw him afterwards at any other FNMs, so I hold on to it until next we meet!

Besides Magic, I have a few other obsessions… like:

Don't judge!
  1. Half of my 80+ unopened Xbox 360 games collection.
  2. The other half…
  3. Random trinkets.
  4. A row… stuffed… with stuffed animals and like-objects.
  5. Shirt I bought for my friend’s recent wedding.

So there you have it… Not so wordless, I apologize.

Do you have any passions obsessions?


The 25th TToT is fast approaching. Sure it’s a month out. Sure it lands during NaNoWriMo in November. Sure I will be bogged down by that, holidays, and family engagements, but I am curious what the host (and co-hosts) have brewing for that milestone and if they haven’t thought it over, they better start now!


This weekend should be a slow one, so I’m hoping to be able to actually participate in the hop. Not that past “lazy” weekends have been busy, but I’ve been preoccupied. And honestly, it’s been a struggle to just write a post. This means November will either be really encouraging and prove rejuvenating for my writing, or it will be incredibly disheartening and frustrating. I can’t wait to find out…

Sarcasm aside — as best I can — let’s start being more Thankful for the past week, shall we? It’s 6am and I’m still awake, so if I don’t write this up now I may not wake up before the entire weekend blog hop ends.

And that would be Bad News Bears.

  1. Kate found an organization hosting free training/classes associated with the arts (or that seems to be the main focus). They are available at a local county library, two days a week, and we attended our first last Saturday. That session was focused on copywriting, patents, and contracts. Can’t say I fully understand the copywriting bit, but I know a lot more than I had. My concerns were focused on using pictures, creating Memes, fiction, etc and featuring them on the blog.
  2. I’m glad we remembered to get signed up for tomorrow’s (today’s) class about financing, but unfortunately I believe we are canceling. I don’t think I’d wake up in time this morning, and she has a wedding to attend.
  3. I’m Thankful that work hasn’t been as stressful this week. I’d imagine through late Fall and Winter there will be the usual lull in move-ins/move-outs. .
  4. Whew, almost passed out there… I’m glad I’ll be getting this post in earlier than I have in months! If I can stay awake, that is…
  5. I started playing a new digital card game (Solforge) on Steam last week. It’s simplistic and pretty fun. It’s currently in the Beta stage — where it will remain for some time — and free to play. It will always be F2P, but there are the standard-issue microtransactions available if wanting.
  6. My brother joining in and playing the Beta with me. He probably likes it more than I do and has already spent money on microtransactions. Considering you can get every card in the game for free via daily awards, I don’t see the appeal (though, I never do) of dumping real money into it.
  7. Well, fuck me. I made it to number seven before passing out. Granted, I was lured into bed finally at 8:30am. I am Thankful I actually woke up before the weekend ended to continue my list, and attempt to participate in the blog hop!
  8. My Magic: The Gathering collection. Every once in a while I break out my collection and sift through it. I go in phases of actually playing the game and right now it’s at a very low-level priority. That doesn’t stop me from constantly looking up new cards/sets, prices, and information on rule changes/card bannings. It’s a hobby and a passion. Someday I will get on that Magic blog I’ve had sitting there for ages...
  9. My mad organization OCD skills. I’ve been going through my collection and separating cards by set/color/alphabetical order and then placed in boxes according to timeframe (ei: newest sets in front of older sets). My hope is to finally go through and remove a large portion of bulk and sell it off. I’ve been planning to buy/sell magic for close to 10 years, but you know… it’s me. I apparently mastered the art of Slowplay before I even knew what it was! I love organizing my collection so much that my brother even played me a youtube video last night featuring a skit with a character (who also loved doing the same) he felt represented me. I think I will share a video of another skit, with a character portraying my Slowplay skills (3:05 mark). I wouldn’t mind drinking and playing/reviewing board/card/video games. Just don’t rely on these two to accurately teach you how the game is played:
  10. NaNoWriMo. I’m getting increasingly psyched, while simultaneously becoming increasingly scared shitless, about this November. Not having a car will make write-ins a bit more difficult, which sucks in terms of meeting new people. I made quite a few new friends last year and an encore of that would be great. However, I’m more afraid of being able to write 50k words. I’ve barely been able to squeeze out a blog and my Trailer Tuesday blurbs have become a struggle. My hope is that, in the end, NaNoWriMo will kick off a string of blog entries I’ve skipped and create a surge in my fiction writing (which I’ve not done since about March). Time will tell...

Feel free to leave your Thankful List in the comments below, if you aren’t participating directly with the blog hop!

BEDiM 2013 : DAY 25

(A Blog Every Day in May 2013 Challenge Entry)

Currently I’m sitting up at A Novel Place playing some Magic: The Gathering. I just drafted some two weeks ago, but it’s been awhile since playing competitive in the Standard format. So far I am 3-0-2. The first Draw was earned against a friend I’ve not seen in weeks. He wasn’t too happy with it, though. The second Draw was with another friend where we didn’t even play, but still secured our slots in the Top 8.

For those unfamiliar: that’s a good thing. It means I get an additional promo and play for additional product, as I battle for first place. Taking the second Draw felt dirty — I like duking it out slinging cardboard — but it gave me time to write up today’s post. Speaking of which…

Today’s prompt:

Day 25, Saturday: Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget (good or bad)

Level Up

I apologize, but I can’t think of anything profound that anyone told me that I can conjure up from memory. You have the stereotypical “you can be anything you want to be,” “you can do anything you put your mind to,” “look both ways before crossing the road.” There are many of those phrases that I’ve heard from parents, friends, mentors, etc over the years.

There is an incredibly good chance that there are multiple nuggets of wisdom bestowed upon me that would make for a great piece for this entry. At it is, though, my mind is in game mode as I await the matches to finish up and for the Top 8 to begin.

One comment from a friend — the one I got my first Draw from today — has always stuck with me. Naturally it’s associated with Magic.

About a year ago now, during a Friday Night Magic (FNM) event, I played the same friend in a match up. The deck I designed used similar cards and tactics of a well-known deck at the time. Once I played a few cards he was positive he knew what I was playing. I don’t netdeck (that’s where you copy a deck design from the winners of worldwide competitions) so mine was more of an original brew.

After overplaying his hand, I eventually took over the match by casting board wipes, which he was shocked to learn I had in the deck. He was a bit confused with my card choices, and even argued about my build — stating I was using the wrong tactics with the type of deck I was playing — but I took the criticism in good stride.

Later I found out he told one of his good friends (best friend?), who is a mutual friend of ours, that I “Next-Leveled” him. Meaning that I had played in such a way that he thought he knew what I was playing, and how to play against it, but in the end the deck was different than expected; catching him by surprise. I thought it was awesome hearing this, because it meant the build worked it’s magic. Part of Magic is a mental game, and so many players expect people to netdeck and copy the pros. This means when someone builds outside of the mold, it can literally blindside your competition.

Considering his years of playing magic and playing ability, I took the comment to heart and with honor. Sometimes I’ll bring it up (like now) with friends in fond remembrance. I’d like to think I “Next-Leveled” him today too, even though our game ended in a Draw. We will see.

By they way, I took his compliment as stating that I was an awesome deck designer and player ;-)

So, like I said, my mind is on Magic at the moment as I am about to head into the Top 8. At this point, having gotten to the Top 8 is rewarding enough. Anything more is a bonus.

Has anyone ever told you something (good or bad) that has stuck with you through the years? Feel free to share. Hope more “good” than “bad”.

PS. Ended up getting 4th place, while my brother got 7th. For the first time in our competitive history my brother and I were paired up against one another. But, I slapped him around pretty hard going 2-0 against him. Also, I was using a deck he mainly designed and I tweaked and changed out the sideboard (pretend you know what that means, just know it’s important).

It felt like Justice.

BEDiM 2013 : DAY 9

(A Blog Every Day in May 2013 Challenge Entry)

I believe today’s post is supposed to involve a picture. Had I went out with my NaNo friends, there would have been a decent chance at me getting a new photo taken. A friend just got a new camera and is sure to be fanatical about taking random pics for some time. As it is, no new pic.

Day 9, Thursday: A moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words).

So, I will have to use a stock photo (one not even featuring myself!) associated with today...

Back to Magic

Tonight was the first night playing Magic: The Gathering, at a competitive level, for almost 6 months. I think I played one Friday Night Magic event in between “quitting” and now. It was a draft game, and I got rocked pretty hard. 0-2 my first match (with the first game of the match being relatively close, the second I was crushed).

Match two I went 1-2, so at least I got in a win. I need to learn not to keep shitty hands — like in game three — but thought I would draw into some needed cards. No such thing occurred.

The card winning me my one win for the evening. I never "looked" at it beyond the text. Creepy lol

Third match I got the “By”. This means the game feels so sorry for me that I don’t have to play, and it counts as a “win”. IE: Lowest ranked player gets the “By” from my understandings. So this is technically a 2-0, but unsure if they count them as such.

Basically, I got rocked!

It was a lot of fun, though, playing with my brother and a handful of friends I’d not seen in some time.  It was almost like a Mini Magic Reunion!

So, that was a snippet of my day. I’m sure only 10% of my readers (of 30 followers) will know what the hell I’m talking about. That may be me being optimistic!

Have you heard of Magic: The Gathering? Do you, or have you ever, played Magic: The Gathering? Have you ever participated in any sort of tournament or competition (gaming/sports/etc)?