A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

It was around 9:00 in the morning when me and Liz got up and we knew that we won’t make it in time since the meeting time was around 11am to 12pm in Mall of Asia. Unfortunately, we’ve been so busy with a lot of our personal and professional affairs the week before that we didn’t have the opportunity to prepare that much for the Otakustreamers.com Christmas Party which was scheduled on December 16, 2012.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

So what we did is that we compressed those activities past midnight of December 15th, which was already technically the 16th. It took us like a couple of hours shopping for gifts and when we got home, we also took the opportunity to schedule a massage session in Sparenity, which was a recently-established massage parlor here where I live. I think it was around 2:30 when or so when we finished? Or was it 3:00? Anyway, when everything was said and done, we had some midnight Lucky Me pancit canton meal which we occasionally do.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“A nice midnight snack. Go treat yourself. NOW.”

As Liz was busy wrapping up the gifts, I was preoccupied sorting out our Magic: The Gathering cards. It’s been two months or so since we last participated in a tournament and we plan on being active again hopefully this coming January. It was almost 6:00 in the morning when we finished with what we were doing and I was already worried if we’ll be able to get up as early as 8:00 though we doubt that.  Moving forward, the next morning,  we decided to stop over at SM San Lazaro to pick up some food for our share in the Christmas Party because apparently, PMG or Pinoy Masters Grill, which was suppose to be the establishment where we were planning to get our food was closed during Sundays. So instead, we were left with the option of getting twelve pieces of Red Ribbon’s buttered mamon which by the way is a favorite of mine. Right after getting the goodies we immediately took off and hailed a cab.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“Yum Yum…”

We’re lucky that the cab was fast enough to get us to our destination, not to mention that there wasn’t much traffic, probably because it was a Sunday morning. While on our way, we decided to call Jeiru01 or May, who was one of the Otakustreamers.com Christmas Party organizers as well as an Otakustreamers.com moderator, to ask her if we can still make it or just go directly to CCP instead. The good news was that we can still make it because they are still waiting for some more people. The bad news was that there are already a couple of them there waiting and knowing that didn’t quite sit well with me. But it can’t be helped and I admit my shortcomings on this. Before arriving there, I decided to wear my Firmo sunglasses which me and Liz got as payment from one of our clients who ordered a product review of it. It was a bit sunny that morning and I thought that wearing it would complement my outfit which was a white polo shirt which has a bit of a long sleeves that can be folded up to the elbows. But then again, it was primarily to hide any physical signs on my face that I lacked sleep real bad.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“No. Not this kind of glasses.”

It was almost noon when we got there and good thing that we didn’t have to look for the rendezvous point since the cab dropped us off somewhere near. It took a while before we got to meet the gang waiting just outside the Starbucks Coffee Shop located along Pacific Drive and Ocean Drive Mall of Asia first level inside the main mall.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“Rendezvous Point: Starbucks at Mall of Asia”

When we entered the premises, we saw a moderate-size group of teens hanging out just outside the establishment and though we already had our suspicions that they may be the people we’re suppose to meet, I decided to text again. One of them, a petite young girl with fair complexion having bun-tied hair, wearing a light blue shirt with leopard patterned sleeves and collar complemented by a pair of jeans walked away from the group and took a peek outside the main entrance while checking her phone. Seeing this, my suspicions were confirmed and I decided to approach the girl “Jeiru?” I asked and when she turned to face me, I extended my hands for a polite handshake and went back to the group. I introduced my girlfriend Liz to her while she introduced the other moderator and organizer of the Christmas Party, Robin, though known in OtakuStreamers.com as Kobowo. We also got acquainted with Aila who was also another Christmas Party organizer and if I am not mistaken, she was the one who gave me and Liz our OS stickers. Though at the time this entry was finished, she said otherwise but sadly, I can’t remember who.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“Yes. They seem to be plotting something sinister. And that’s their boss. The Blue one.”

Afterwards, I took this opportunity to excuse myself to go to the washroom so I could relieve and fix myself. At the same time, Zura, who was also another Otakustreamers.com member, contacted me through my mobile asking me if it was okay for him to give my number to Lance, another Otakustreamers.com member although at that time, I only knew him in his username which was Reivacks. I gave him the go signal and later on, Lance was calling me up but since I didn’t have any idea of where we will be specifically having our picnic in the Cultural Center of the Philippines or CCP, I had Robin talk to him instead. Had to admit that we had a bit of difficulty carrying our luggage since Liz had her DLSR with her, plus we’re carrying not just our gifts for the other OS members but as well as the gifts for the next Christmas party she will be attending that day. Not to mention the food contribution that we also have and our personal things. Though a female member named Menisa, was nice enough to offer assistance, we humbly refused it since it would be too much of a trouble for her. The good thing was that an Otakustreamers.com member, Untoldlegend, the tallest of the group, sorry, I forgot his real name, had his car with him and the ladies were offered the opportunity to ride with him. At the same time, he also offered to have our things, the gifts and the food contributions be placed on his car for the time being which everyone gladly obliged.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“Yes, we’re carrying a lot. Well, maybe not as much as this.”

After Untoldlegend had left with the ladies, we, the guys, decided to ride the public transportation available in MOA which was en route to CCP. Not sure what time we got to the location. The place where the group has decided to hold the picnic is not actually within the CCP structure but rather, in the CCP open grounds which were located just across the street. It was a wide area place having many trees as well as cemented ground.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“Yes.that’s me. The one the guys are holding,”

And in my opinion, it is one of those places where it’s good to have a picnic. However, dark clouds seem to gather above us and we’re having a feeling that it’s going to rain later on. They laid out a big black platform which I am unsure what is made of and put the foods and the gifts on it which we later dubbed as our “offering to the gods” of the woods which they played around with. We took a picture of another member, Dejavu, standing with both his hands extended away from him as if he was accepting the offerings in front of him.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“The Offerings to the Woodland Deity”

Afterwards, Aila and Robin decided to start with the introductions. At first everyone was hesitant to go up first but later on, they introduced themselves by sharing how long have they been members in the forum, as well as their usernames and the color of their usernames and titles that they are known for, one by one and I admit, I wasn’t able to catch everything. Liz was actually surprised that a member by the username, Mlcdl or Lester, found her familiar and as one of the Otakustreamers.com donators or OS VIP.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“Are you kidding me? This notebook says otherwise!”

After the introductions, Robin and Aila went ahead with starting the first game of the day which was the OS bingo game. The instructions were simple; we go and have the other members write their usernames on the space provided on the papers that we were given. Just imagine a piece of clean bond paper having eight boxes and an “X” mark at the center. Once we’re done, Aila drew out pieces of papers with the members name on it and then whoever got the names written on their papers, then they mark it. Once they get to fill out everything, they win the game. During these moments, Robin was busy giving Reivacks directions on how to get to us through my mobile so he wasn’t able to join us as far as I remember.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“The victor of the bingo game is the girl at the center. Yeah. Her.”

And the funny thing was that Liz won the game so she gets the privilege of choosing one of the “offerings” to keep for her own. Two other members won next though I no longer remember who they were. Liz winning was very timely because it was already 2 in the afternoon at that time and she already needed to leave since she has another Christmas party to attend to in SM Megamall. Though this time, it’s their company’s Christmas party. Furthermore, it was also at that time that rain started to fall so the group had no choice but to pack up their things and find shelter. Not sure though if Lance was able to make it in the Bingo game or what but anyway, he did make it before the rain so he probably made it in the game. I immediately took out my umbrella and accompanied Liz in getting a cab. Afterwards, I followed the rest of the group to shelter ourselves from the rain under the waiting shed of a Max Fried Chicken restaurant before moving next to a Kentucky Fried Chicken establishment which was close by. Thanks to the downpour, we weren’t able to enjoy the foods that we brought along with us so we were forced to have lunch in KFC instead. Though it wasn’t much of a bad idea, it kinda spoiled the mood of the group in having a fun picnic.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“The Gang.”

We stayed at KFC for the time being while we waited for the rain to halt while devouring the Creepy Crème, err, I mean, the Krispy Kreme donuts that the other members brought. At that time, we were joking around that whoever gets the colorful donut should be a clear indication that he is part of the Federation Army if you know what I mean.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“So, who’s going to pick the multi-colored one?”

I think it was around three in the afternoon when the rain finally stopped or at least lessened. Sadly, Ishimaru Shun had to leave at that time and though he left early, as well as Liz, they were replaced by two new members who arrived, Debie and her younger sister, Kristine, Freykens and Petal respectively. We went out of the fast food chain and headed back to where we were supposed to stay before it rained. While on the way back, we took a peek at the bay area and looked at the nice view as well as the yachts anchored in the bay and the vast the body of water was from where we were standing. Looking at the vast horizon was a bit of a breath-taking moment for me.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“..Yeah. Minus the sun. Thanks to the dark clouds. Sheesh.”

However, it started to pour again and seeing that the two new comers, Freykens and Petal don’t have anything to cover themselves with, I lent them my umbrella instead and I decided to use my black jacket to keep myself from getting wet. The good thing was that the Max restaurant was not far away from where we are so we decided to take shelter there again. This time, Aila and Robin were already considering of postponing the event and rescheduling it to some other date because of the unfavorable weather. Though everyone agreed to have it rescheduled, the good thing was that the time we took discussing it was enough time for the down pour to stop and this time, it seems that the rain has finally stopped for good. Before going on our way, I politely took my umbrella from the two ladies just to make sure that I’ll have something to use when the day ends, in case it rains again.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“This commercial break is brought to you by….”

As soon as we got back to where we started, one of the members, Ninjen, bid farewell next. His school was requiring them to watch this certain play and as much as we wanted him to stay, he declined. I was even joking about taking his wallet before setting him off just so he wouldn’t go. Which reminds me, there was also another member, Pontil was his username, who was supposed to go home at that time but me and Aila convinced him to stay up until five o’clock? Or so we said. Anyway, that will be for later. Going back, ah, there, Aila and Robin started to organize the second game of the day which was locally called Dr.quack quack or the Duck game. The premise of the game is that a group of people would form a circle and hold hands together and try to entwine themselves in whatever way they can. At the same time, while they are doing this, a second group of individuals will have to turn their back so they wouldn’t see how it was done and once the first group is done entwining themselves; the second group would have to disassemble the first group.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“So, where’s the duck in this game?”

Everyone enjoyed playing the game and once we were done with it, we took a short break while the organizers were thinking of what to do next. At that time, I was wondering where the nearest washroom could be so I had to ask Robin where it was. He instructed me that there is a building at the far eastern side end of the road from where we were and to go straight inside until I see a stage and to make a left turn where there was a signboard with the words “Ginoo” or “Gents”. So I went there and he was right. There was a building called “Bantayog ng Panginoon” or The Statue of the Lord is what Google translate gave as a translation though it kind of seems off since it was a structure and not a statue. Nevertheless, when I got back, they were already discussing about a skit that we are suppose to do at that time. Leonx2, or Lester was assigned by Rob and Aila, to be the one to choreograph the dance number for team two which consists of me, Bloody Envy or Teren, Freykens, Menisa, Dejavu, Jason, and err, I forgot the rest. Gomen nasai. On the other hand, the second group which was led by Aila, was assigned to choreograph the Pokemon theme. Their team called Team Mang, consists of Meagan or Vectorplate, Untoldlegend, Mlcdl or Lester, Kurtherror, Pontil, Petal and three more that I am not that familiar with.

Apparently, our team called Teamba, was well, so “motivated” if I may say so, to perform the whole dance steps that’s why we ended up dancing only up to one minute or so while the other team was able to complete their performance. Afterwards, I thought of needing to fix myself so I decided to go back to the “Bantayog” and at the same time, some of the other members were also asking where they can relieve themselves so I had them come with me to where I was headed. Once we got there, we we’re joking about the place and after getting back, we were like asking them if they were interested to go to the “Bantayog ng Panginoon” and the rest were just raising their eyebrows looking dumbfounded at what we were talking about. At the strike of five in the afternoon, Pontil went home next since that was the initial agreement with Aila although we were tempted to try to convince him to stay for a few more hours.

It was already evening at that time and it didn’t take long before Leonx2 or Lester introduced a new game which they didn’t reveal until the actual game. At first they were looking for volunteers who would gladly demonstrate how the game was played at the same time asking the questions; Girl to girl, Boy to Girl or Boy to Boy. However, no one was willing to stand up thinking that it may be some evil ploy of some sort. Then I saw them, him and Moderator Robin holding this box of Pocky and for a moment, I had an idea of what the game was all about plus based on their question and I can’t help myself laugh at the thought. A few moments later, a few members volunteered and the game was then demonstrated. The premise of the game is that two people, in this case, two guys would put the same Pocky cracker inside their mouth, one guy for each end. If you don’t have an idea what a Pocky is, then think of Pretzels. Then imagine that one end is bitten by another person the same as with the opposite end and they have to gradually eat through it so basically, if they’re not fast enough or careful enough, then yes, that is correct Watson, they will end up kissing each other. Yes. Boys will end up kissing each other. It is basically a Yaoi-kind of game and just Google the term Yaoi if you’re not familiar with it. And no, don’t ask me why they thought of doing such things. I don’t have any idea as well.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“Pocky = Yaoi”

Until eventually I decided to volunteer to join in the fun with me and Moderator Rob being the contestants for this devious game. Long story short, I am not sure what happened but somehow, I think I kinda pulled back just in time before our lips touched. Anyway, I ended up getting a Pocky as prize, probably for my active participation and from then on, some of the other members have become more motivated. Not sure why but maybe because of the prize. I mean, hey, if you see the organizers holding a plastic filled with boxes of Pockys wouldn’t you think twice of playing a game or two? Especially if you’re likely getting one box for FREE and you just have to be well, courageous in participating right? Of course, unpleasant accidents happen but it’s not like you lost your virginity right? Well, maybe your lips’ virginity but otherwise, you still have your dignity intact. Haha.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“This shampoo commercial is brought to you by,…”

After a few moments, we rallied the guys to try to convince the girls to do a Yuri in turn, basically, participate in the same game but this time, it would only be girls to girls. And we got our eyes on Aila and I think it was Meagan? Anyway, she was refusing to join in the fun and we were all like telling her that she was a kill joy and so on. Then Aila asked us guys to do it first and I took a Pocky stick out of the box that leon2 was holding and told her that if I did it, she should be sure to do it after. Sadly, she refused and the guys and I let out our sigh of disappointment. It could have been interesting. So much for our anticipation though.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“Not happening.”

We were supposed to play some Cops and Robbers game but sadly, they didn’t push through since the group was already exhausted and hungry. Shucks. I missed playing that game! So, we decided to have some much needed nourishment. Pizzas, Pancit Palabok and some what was it again, I forgot what’s that food called oh, puto and some orange juice for the evening. And since we’re already having our evening meal it’s unlikely that we’ll be going for any more games. We spent the remaining time together by chatting about anything under the sun, or in this case, under the moon except that the moon’s not visible at that time due to the thick clouds in the sky. Before long, we cleaned up and had our exchange gift. I got a power card load from Aila which I am thankful for and I appreciate since it can come to good use if in case I find myself in Timezone one of these days. Liz on the other hand got her share as well from Jason. She got a neat small bag and a white cap.

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“I now have the power!!!”

When we were done exchanging gifts, people decided that it was time to end the evening so everyone went to Untoldlegend’s car to get their personal stuff. However, they didn’t want to end the day without taking some nice group pictures and since the lighting was not that favorable in where we were, we decided to cross the street and get our pictures taken in a brighter area. Sadly, the light was still insufficient so the photos we had were not that clear and unfortunately, there were no other closer place for us to go to anymore to take better pictures. After bidding farewell to Robin and May and the others who decided to head back to Mall of Asia, me, along with Aila, Lance or Reivacks, Freykens, Petal, Bloody Envy, and the rest of the gang took a ride heading back to Vito Cruz LRT station. Once we got there, the group split up into two; those taking the LRT but are headed to Edsa and the next group consisting of me, Aila, Freykens, Petal, Mlcdl, and Bloody Envy, heading the opposite way with Mlcdl being the first to drop off, followed by Aila and Teren then me. Freykens and her sister Petal, on the other hand are the last since their drop off was still at Roosevelt, which was the last station on the other side of the LRT terminal.

I already got home around eight in the evening or so if I am not mistaken and since I was no longer feeling that well, thanks to my bad colds, exhaustion and lack of sleep during the last few days, I decided to take some medicine right away and sleep for the day. But overall, it was still a fun and memorable experience. It has been a while since I had that much fun especially that I’ve been preoccupied with a lot of things during the last few months. It’s just unfortunate that Liz was unable to stay longer. I am sure she’d also enjoy it as much as I did, not to mention the games and the food. Its 1:29 in the morning right now as I wrap up this entry and I am just listening to some classic Uchuu Keiji music and it’s a bit cold due to the rain. After this, I’ll be having my dinner and yes, you read that right. Thanks to my US-time zone sleeping pattern, I usually have my dinner around this time or a bit earlier. Well, I think that’s all for this entry. I’ll be getting back with more entries in a day or two about how my year went. Well, hopefully, I can get it finished before the year ends. For the meantime, have a nice day!

A Memorable Party for the Otaku in Me

“Till next time…”

image credits:

Lizzie Dee
Jason Guillermo
Kristine Orcine Juan
www.waymarking.com
123.rf.com – alarm clock
afodltd.com – lucky me
simplyannes.blogspot.com
collider.com
guardian.co.uk
wptv.com
traveltothephilippines.info
sodahead.com
pinoydaysleeper.multiply.com

 

Pinoy Experience In Pinoy Masters Grill

I arrived at Vito Cruz, Taft Avenue‘round five o’clock in the afternoon and went about asking a random vendor where Pinoy Grill was located. I was really surprised when they told me that it was located on the second floor of the D’students Place in front of De Lasalle University in Taft Avenue, pointing the sign board of Pinoy Masters Grill hanging just above the building. The reason was that I am very much familiar with the place because I occasionally go to D’Students Place, particularly at Ongkeko’s Hobby Shop which was located on the same floor. OHS is a place where I sometimes go to just to play Magic: The Gathering.

Moving forward, I went upstairs and looked for it and found the place. I found it just a few steps away from the hobby shop. Just walk straight along the hallway and you will find it just before the internet café at the far end of the hall. At first, I was surprised to see that there were not much guests-bloggers-in the place except for the regular customers. And for a moment, it made me think if I am at the wrong branch. Never the less, I decided to go to hang out at OHS while waiting for Liz and her friend Rhona, who are both bloggers, arrive. The truth is that they were really the ones invited. I just happen to have my girlfriend’s camera at home so I ended up being the errand boy for her as well as a last minute addition.

It was around six or so when I decided to check out the place again to see if there are other bloggers at the place but I saw none. I was about to go back to OHS when this lady who was sitting in one of the tables just outside the establishment asked me if I was looking for someone. I explained my situation and discovered that she was the one representing the contact person of Liz and Rhona. She explained that they were only expecting three bloggers to arrive as advised by their boss, Omar. And I was like “Three bloggers?” I had the impression that there were others coming or like there’s a party that’ll take place but apparently, the big event is scheduled to take place sometime late October, after the Pinoy Masters Grill Lagro branch officially opens. The lady introduced herself as Lisa and invited me to go inside. Though I initially humbly refused to go in since Liz and Rhona have not yet arrived, I eventually concur and went in.

The place was comfy and was ventilated by wall fans as well as one air-conditioning unit which I appreciate since I easily get cold. It has enough space to accommodate around twenty customers or so. You can see the staff diligently attending to the other customers needs and in fact, they take the initiative to re-fill the iced tea drinks of the customers as well as serving them with extra rice. And I can say that they also make it a point that every table is clean and the condiments are in place. The walls have a soft color theme of blue and yellow stripes. They even have a motivational board set up on one side of the dining place. Furthermore, they already have decorations set up in the establishment in preparation for the coming Halloween season.

Pinoy Experience In Pinoy Masters Grill

A few minutes later, Lisa introduced me to her partner, Mel who eventually sat and entertained me while I waited for my girlfriend and her friend. She also had instructed the staff to prepare our meal while we waited for them. For the time being, the staff offered me some iced tea and soup. The truth was that the atmosphere reminded me of Mang Inasal since they also serve the customers with soup minus the iced tea. I took a sip of the soup and found it delicious. Compared to the soup that you get from Mang Inasal, it was not that sour. Not that I didn’t like how the soup in Mang Inasal was made. Both have their own merits.

Mel further explained that Pinoy Masters Grill used to have a branch in Sangandaan which was near where I currently live but management decided to close it down in favor of opening the one in Lagro. She also asked my contact details so she could get in touch with me and invite me for the grand opening of the Lagro Branch. Mel added that they intend to give their customers a more pinoy feel but referring to their customers as “kuya/ate” as oppose to the traditional “sir/mam”.  It was around seven (or so) when Liz and her friend, Rhona, arrived and after a few moments, dinner was served. We had inasal chicken legs and I decided to eat so I can enjoy the meal while it’s hot. I poured some chicken sauce on my rice which I also normally do when I am dining in Mang Inasal.

 Pinoy Experience In Pinoy Masters Grill

One of the owners, Mike Tan eventually arrived and greeted us with a warm welcome. What’s funny and admiring is that he didn’t beat around the bush and asked us straight away if we’re thinking that their place is similar to Mang Inasal. The reason behind that was because he used to work for them a long time back. That explains why the set up was familiar but then again, he proudly boasts that they have a better chicken than Mang Inasal due to the quality of their chicken. He explains that their chicken does not have much oil as compared to their competitor which can make you feel a bit sick for eating too much of the same food. I personally attested to that.

Pinoy Experience In Pinoy Masters Grill

I  added that I tend to experience that feeling after dining in the aforementioned fast food. Which was one reason I was not that fond of eating there however, Liz and I are different when it comes to that since Liz still enjoys eating there. Furthermore, he’s also proud to say that their liempo does not have much oil when you eat it, which is actually true after trying the liempo served on the table.

 Pinoy Experience In Pinoy Masters Grill

He even shared that their staff occasionally buys their own chicken meal because they like its taste. Another thing Mike was proud of is that their chicken would still taste good even if it has been a few hours that passed before you ate it. I forgot how it came to be that he gave us his own mixture of saging con yelo which I initially refused telling him that I don’t really eat any similar food. But then again, he insisted and gave me, Liz and Rhona his sample. He also shares that he really wanted to have a talk with us so he could dissolved any wrong ideas about his establishment that we may probably think of and how he regularly checks his staff’s performance. He later pointed at the table located at the far end of the establishment where a couple of plastic containers were placed. Mike proudly exclaims that he does not mind his customers seeing the prepared chicken in his establishments because he is confident that the food he prepares for his customer is clean unlike other establishments out there which you do not even have an idea of how they are being prepared or delivered. He also mentioned that his customers can also attest to the quality of their food which he is also proud of.

After a few moments, our Saging Con Yelo arrived and we tasted it. He advised that it would taste better if we mixed it well which I did. Though I don’t have the means to make any comparison since it was the first time I really made an effort in eating such a dessert, I can honestly say that it tastes good. Moreover, you will eventually appreciate the taste of milk in it once you are half-way in eating it.

 Pinoy Experience In Pinoy Masters Grill

Unfortunately, I was unable to finish it because I later felt cold. I did mention that I easily experience being cold. Seeing as I was cold, they had one of the fans turned off which I appreciate. Mike shared a lot of interesting stories about his previous experiences while I on the other hand kept asking for more soup which I often do. In between the conversations, I occasionally point out my observations such as them using only natural ingredients in terms of cooking their soup since the soup’s color shows it as well as its taste. And that I did notice that their chicken did not get me to feel sick of it or anything nor did it have too much oil in it. I mentioned that I cook at home and was familiar with the taste of Sinigang especially if there were any artificial flavoring added to it. However, as much as we wanted to stay and talk more, Liz and Rhona still had a shift later that evening. Before we left, Mike had me take home my left-over meal since I was not able to finish it which Liz and I attested as something that is normal of me. He tells me that I should try eating it when I get home and tell him if it still tastes the same and or if it has become bad. I explained that I am more of a rice person and I often get full before I am even able to finish off my chicken. And this applies to any establishment where I order chicken as a meal.

We bid farewell to Mike, Lisa and Mel and I accompanied my girlfriend, Liz and Rhona to get a cab since it was already 9:34 when we left. They’re hoping that they can make it just in time for their ten o’clock shift. As soon as they were able to get a cab, I went on my way. Overall, I’d say that it was a great experience. I remember telling Mike that the next time me and my girlfriend go to play in OHS, we’d go there to have dinner and I’ll have my Tinola which was my favorite. I can really say that they may be able to rival other similar establishments, not to mention the fact that they have more food options in their menu compared to their direct competitor. Of course, it would still take them quite a while before they are able to make it big but I sincerely wish Mike and his staff the best in doing so.

 Pinoy Experience In Pinoy Masters Grill

Return to Ravnica Pre-Release!

At last! The much awaited Return to Ravnica Pre-Release has arrived! And me and my girlfriend Liz are both excited to be playing today! I am pretty sure that the other players out there feel the same way as we do. However, that would have to wait because I had to attend my friend’s son’s birthday party which was held on the same day as well, at the SM San Lazaro branch. Luckily, the party was scheduled around 11 in the morning which gives me the opportunity to participate in the prerelease event at least later in the afternoon. Not to mention that the mall was just one jeepney ride away from where I live. I left Liz at home to attend the party first so she could get some more rest and tackle some online tasks before following.

Return to Ravnica Pre-Release!

“My friend and his kid with me”

And the thing was that I ended up staying at the party for longer than expected and me and Liz reached Eton around five o’clock in the afternoon. She was already feeling disappointed for me that we arrived there late and was getting the impression that we’d probably be playing the day after which was Sunday. I was not worried though. When we got there, we were relieved that there was still some Izzet guildpacks available for me to pick and that there was one more pod that I can join. The tournament organizer was just waiting for a couple of more players to arrive before starting the last pod.

Return to Ravnica Pre-Release!

Izzet Guildpack

Unfortunately, Neutral Grounds, which was just located within the same building and just a few steps away no longer have any Guild Packs for some of the players which also includes Liz. It means that Liz will no longer have the opportunity to get her own prerelease card, as well as the limited edition die that we initially wanted to get. And because of this, I had her refunded the whole payment. Liz was really disappointed since she really wanted to have her own Guild pack and play that day. And the thing was, Regran no longer have available slots that she can take for her to participate at their prerelease event. I consoled her and told her that she can just play during the launch party which will be held on October 5th. Though we won’t be able to get any guild pack at that time, we at least get a launch party foil card unlike if she joins the prerelease since she’s paying for just a regular prerelease entrance fee but without any freebies. I added that not getting a prerelease card seems not that worth the experience and the payment. Liz was already sulking when the tournament organizer in Regran offered his slot to Liz saying that he was already able to participate in a couple of pods. The news made Liz really happy and got her really excited. I was very thankful to the tournament organizer and within a couple of minutes, the pod where I was part of started. I got my Izzet Guildpack which was what I really wanted, along with the limited edition Izzet guild die.

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“Prerelease Card for the Izzet Guild Members”

And I have to say this but I am really impressed with the packaging of the guild packs. Wizards of the Coast really did think this through and put everything in it. No wonder that Neutral Grounds no longer had stocks for the other participants. I’d say that me and Liz really got lucky this time.

Unfortunately, it’s kinda difficult to remember everything that took place in a pre-release match. Well, at least for me, I find it difficult to remember what happened on each turn of each match especially that I don’t have a notebook with me to record or take note of anything at all. However, I do remember scenarios where a certain card in my deck performed and that are what I will be sharing here instead.

To start with, here’s the deck that I constructed:

Return to Ravnica Sealed Deck: 4-0 Izzet Guild

Lands: 18

4 Island

2 Izzet Guildgate

2 Mountains

7 Plains

1 Rogue’s Passage

2 Tranquil Promenade

Creatures: 14

1 Azorius Arrester

1 Azorius Justiciar

1 Archon of the Triumvirate

1 Crosstown Courier

1 Hover Barrier

1 Hussar Patrol

1 Hypesonic Dragon

1 Keening Apparition

1 Lobber Crew

1 Mercurial Chemister

1 Precinct Captain

1 Seller of Songbirds

1 Soulsworn Spirit

1 Sunspire Griffin

Spells: 8

1 Azorius Keyrune

1 Downsize

1 Explosive Impact

1 Inaction Injunction

1 Izzet Keyrune

1 Paralyzing Grasp

1 Pursuit of Flight

1 Swift Justice

Sideboards:

1 Volatile Rig

1 Firemind’s Foresight

1 Grave Betrayal

1 Tavern Swindler

1 Blustersquall

1 Oak Street Innkeeper

1 Racecourse Fury

1 Sphere of Safety

1 Call of the Conclave

2  Teleportal

1 Rix Maadi Guildmage

1 Slitherhead

1 Rakdos Cackler

1 Cremate

1 Daggerdrome Imp

1 Mind Rot

1 Sewer Shambler

1 Ogre Jailbreaker

1 Perilous Shadow

1 Dispel

1 Mizzium Skin*

1 Chronic Flooding

1 Cancel

1 Inspiration

2 Void Wielder*

1 Isperia’s Skywatch

2 Gatecreeper Vine

1 Axebane Guardian

1 Chorus of Might

1 Rubbleback Rhino

2 Horncaller’s Chant

2 Bellows Lizard

1 Electrickery

1 Gorehouse Chanwalker

1 Viashino Raketeer

2 Cobblebrute

1 Battlehorn

1 Survey the Wreckage

2 Swift Justice

1 Trained Caracal

1 Azorius Arrester

1 Concordia Pegasus

1 Eyes in the Sky

1 Courser’s Accord

1 Risen Sanctuary

1 Chemister’s Trick

1 Essence Backlash*

1 Goblin Electromancer

1 Auger Spree

1 Spawn of Rix Maadi

1 Trestle Troll

1 Sluiceway Scorpion

1 Frostburn Weird

Now, let me discuss the creatures which performed in my deck starting with:

Azorius Justiciar: Azorius Justiciar on its own is not really impressive, not to mention that she is only a 2/2 creature for four mana. However, she’s great if you play her on a timely manner. My opponent on the first round lost the second game because of this card. She was part of my first seven hand and I held on to her until my opponent’s life was low enough for me to make a critical swing.

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“On second thought, being detained by this lady doesn’t sound bad afterall”

Archon of the Triumvirate: The only time that I was able to play this big fellow was on game 2 of the fourth round. My opponent was sporting an Azorius deck who had just wiped my board of a newly-casted Mercurial Chemister and Hussar Patrol with his Supreme Verdict. Fortunately for me, I had the Archon in my hand and as soon as he passed the turn, I didn’t think twice of playing it with one blue mana up for a Mizzium Skin which I was holding. At the end of my turn, he tried bouncing it back with Dramatic Rescue but I used the Mizzium to grant my Archon hexproof and my opponent tank for a second and eventually decided to use the other Dramatic Rescue to bounce my Archon. He was frustrated that he was forced to use two cards just to bounce my Archon which I just re-cast on my next turn.

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“On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to be detained by this one”

Hover Barrier: This is one of the good cards that I have in the deck. This card helped me keep off the initial onslaught especially that it has a toughness of 6 which is not that bad. Unfortunately, it is often killed by my opponents since it’s a hindrance.

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“Bumping into one of these things is no illusion”

Hussar Patrol: One of the cards that I am happy to draw. With its flash ability, it has helped me ambush unsuspecting creatures deployed by my opponent to the red zone. Not to mention the fact that it has a big rear *read: 4 toughness* and has vigilance.

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“Nor into these people”

Hypersonic Dragon: once I draw this card, it often leads to victory and the thing was that I often drew this card on most of my games which was a big help especially that it has evasion and has haste. There was even this one time wherein I had it in my initial 7 but wasn’t able to play it due to mana restrictions but my patience was rewarded and I was eventually able to play it for the win. But perhaps the most memorable time I played it was against my last opponent Remember the time when I played the Archon? Just a turn after, I drew this one so in no time, my opponent who was at twenty plus life was staring down on an attacking Archon and a Hypersonic Dragon along with a Precinct Captain dealing him a total of 11 damage. Unfortunately for him, he was no longer able to draw any answer on both of the cards and eventually extended his hand. Overall, I love this card in my games and is perhaps the most which has contributed a lot to my victories.

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“Liz got two of this in her deck. Scary.”

Seller of Songbirds: Not really that impressive but the 1/1 evasive token it generates is big especially when you are on the defensive. In fact, the token helped me won the first game against my Azorius opponent in the last round. He was at 6 life and I was holding an Explosive Impact and have a Hussar Patrol in play as well as a bird token. On his turn, he was able to draw an answer, though I forgot what that was but he was deciding between removing my Hussar and the bird. He initially chose to remove the bird and in fact I already had put it aside when he suddenly changed his mind and removed my flash patrol. Though I was showing a poker face at that time, inside, I was relieved and told myself that victory was mine. He passed the turn and I drew, didn’t really matter what that was but I attacked my bird token and he took the damage dropping him down to 5 which was enough for me to kill him with my Explosive Impact.

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“How much is that birdie in the window…”

Soulsworn Spirit: This was also a neat evasive creature. Not only does it detains a creature an opponent controls which keeps his hands off you, his evasive ability helps you race opponents. Most of the time, I cast him for the purpose of racing with the opponent. Though he often dies to spot removal, he already has dealt enough damage to the opponent.

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“You don’t want to get touched by those hands. Trust me.”

Below are the spells which have helped me win my games:

Azorius Keyrune: One of the best cards that you can draw in the early game as well as the late game. Not only is the artifact immune to mass removal as well as sorcery speed removals, but it is also an evasive creature on its own and can help you race with the opponent especially when the ground is in a stalemate. The keyrune also helped me ramp up to be able to cast my more expensive spells such as the Hussar Patrol, Explosive Impact and my bombs.

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“A 2/2 flyer for UW? Not bad I’d say.”

Explosive Impact: This is the second card which won me a lot of games. During the first game on the first round, my opponent slammed a Hover Barrier to keep my only creature from getting past the red zone. Since I already had it in my opening hand, I made sure to attack with my ground creature every turn even if my opponent would surely block the creature with his wall. I conditioned my opponent in blocking it without giving it much thought so when I already had six mana up, I blew up his damaged wall with an Explosive Impact. And the thing was that this scenario happened in both the first game and the second game. In addition to using it to win the first game against my opponent in the last round, I also used it to snatch victory from my previous opponents.

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“Gunflame!!”

Inaction Injunction: Not superbly impressive but it did help a lot in racing against opponents and the added card draw was invaluable.

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“I call this inaction inaction”

Izzet Keyrune: Though not that impressive as compared to its Azorius counterpart, it did help me net cards against my last opponent in one of our games. It was also thanks to Rogues Passage which made sure that the 2/1 Keyrune got in to help me filter my hand. Furthermore, it really helps smooth out the mana especially that I was playing a three-colored deck.

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“If this was unblockable, it would’ve been better.”

Paralyzing Grasp:  Is one of the best cards that you can have in your deck if you are playing blue. Though the funny thing was I wasn’t able to use much of this cards but whenever I draw it, I make sure to stop a big threat.

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“Stop! Don’t touch me there! No! Don’t! It tickles!”

Pursuit of Flight: This card helped me get my creatures past the red zone. In fact, this card won me the first game against my opponent on the third or was it second round? Anyway, he has ground creatures to block my offensive but I only needed one creature to get passed him to win the game and drawing it was timely.

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“Up up and awaaaaayy….*thump*”

Notable Sideboards:

Mizzium Skin: The most memorable performance it showed was the time when I was against the Azorius player in our last game of the final round. As mentioned above, it forced the opponent to use two of his Dramatic Rescue to bounce my Archon, leaving him with no other answer in hand.

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“Sticks and Stones will not break my bones”

Void Wielder: A neat card when you are trying to push through your creatures in the red zone. Though I rarely drew this card, the times that I am able to cast it helped me get more damage to the opponent which forces them to be on the defensive.

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“Ladies and Gentlemen, watch closely as I pull out a rabbit out of this…Hat”

Essence Backlash: The card that I sideboarded in the most. It countered my first opponent’s Chaos Imp on the second game, dealing a massive six damage. An opponent also fell victim to the backlash. It was when he decided to play his Chaos Imp a turn after he cast a Hellhole Flailer. He regret not playing the Imp a turn earlier which was when I was still tapped out. It also countered an opponent’s Carnival Hellsteed, dealing him a painful five damage not. I also used it to counter the Vassal Soul of my Azorius opponent. Even though it only dealt a measly 2 damage due to the low power of the creature, it did keep him from being able to block my aerial assault which helped me win the game. Overall, this is perhaps one of those cards that I am really happy using in my deck. Like the Hypersonic Dragon, this contributed a lot in those games that I won. You just have to be patient when playing this.

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“Ooh, that must’ve hurt…”

In all my games, I only lost once which was against the Rakdos player I suppose when he was able to overwhelm me with his creatures on the second game but then again, I still won that particular round.

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“Yes. That’s me. Yes. The one with the PINK sleeves. And NO. I am not gay.”

Overall, I am proud of my performance as well as the deck that I had constructed but then again, my victory was not only my own, I had help from one my good friends. Thanks Alfred Banaag! He was the one who suggested that I put in the Explosive Impact as well as to make it 18 Lands as opposed to my usual 17 lands at the time I was constructing my deck. If it weren’t for those suggestions, maybe I wouldn’t have won those entire match ups. But then again, I also owe my wins to myself. The battles fought were hard but at the end of the day, my efforts were rewarded.

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“Ore wa, Kachi desu!”

 

imagecredit: magiccardmarket.eu, biwicket.com, http://gatherer.wizards.com

GRIXIS, INFECT, AND WOLF RUN RAMP MATCH UP

Game 1:

My opponent mulliganed down to six while I kept my first seven. A Gitaxian Probe from me revealed a hand consisting of two Desperate Ravings, a Gilded Lotus, a couple of lands and a Slagstorm. Because of the knowledge that he has a Slagstorm in hand, I decided to hold off from playing my Geist which I think was a bad decision since he has a Gilded lotus in hand. This means that the Mana Leak in my hand would eventually become useless if I he played the lotus which he eventually did which I decided to counter with my Mana Leak. It was a bit frustrating since I could have just played the geist earlier and had him waste his turn burning my geist rather than him being able to play a Desperate ravings at the end of my turn. The good thing though is that I was able to pick off a Pillar of Flame and a Black Sun’s Zenith from his hand thanks to him playing Desperate Ravings.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“Probed!”

A few turns later, he played some Duress but I was lucky enough to be holding a Mental Misstep to counter it. Funny thing was that the second time he attempted to Duress me, I also had a timely Mental Misstep to counter it. Unfortunately, he was able to play another Gilded Lotus and I no longer had Mana Leak to ditch it to the bin. Another misplay that I had during the first game was that I forgot to attack with the spirit token on my turn which I made at the end of my opponent’s turn. The board became more troublesome when my opponent hard-casted the dreaded planeswalker, Nicol Bolas. Since I don’t have any good creatures on the board, he decided to destroy my Moorland Haunt leaving me with three dual colored lands and two islands. But before it got destroyed, I responded by exiling another creature from my graveyard, I think it was the dead geist or was it another creature? Not sure. And once he was done, I played a Restoration Angel at the end of his turn, targeting my token but choosing not to exile it.

“Duress was Misstepped”

During my turn, I decided to attack the evil planeswalker with my angel and two spirits bringing its loyalty counter to three before passing the turn. And as expected, he used the planeswalker’s second ability to permanently gain control of my angel which put his planeswalker’s loyalty down to one. I wasn’t bothered one bit since I had a vapor snag in my hand which I used to bounce my angel back to my hand while tapping out my remaining four lands to play my angel at the end of his turn as well.

Grixis, Infect, and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“Destroys Moorland Haunt”

“Attacks the all-powerful dragon planeswalker!”

“Finishes off the Job!”

And luckily, I was able to draw a gut shot which I used to take care of Nicol Bolas as my angel and spirits attacked him. Unfortunately for him, he no longer has any action in his board and I was able to draw a pike which I immediately played and equipped my angel with it. With ten spells in my graveyard, and two spirits, he took a whopping fifteen damage in one swing bringing him down to five. I passed the turn and he slowly drew his next card and decided to go for the next game.

Grixis, INfect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“Swings for 15 damage and the rest was history”

Game 2:

I kept my seven consisting of two Ponders, a Mana Leak, A Geist of Saint Traft and three lands. My opponent played a swamp and duressed me. He was dismayed when he saw two Ponders and a Geist and decided to just ditch my leak to the graveyard. The first few turns was uneventful for him and he was stuck to four lands while I spent my turns casting Ponder, after Ponder after Ponder. I even shuffled after the second Ponder and what’s funny was that I drew another Ponder even after shuffling. Thanks to a Gitaxian Probe, I was able to see him having a Griselbrand and a Liliana of the Veil and a Doom Blade and couple of spells I don’t quite remember.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“Liliana poses a problem.”

He eventually landed a Liliana and used her plus one ability to make us discard and I was torn between discarding either one of the two Geist of St. Traft that I have in hand or the land which I need to be able to play a creature on my next turn. I eventually decided to discard the land instead while he discarded his Griselbrand before he passed his turn.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“A Serious Problem”

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“Was it a misplay to pick the land instead of the Geist?”

Luckily, I drew an Island which was enough for me to cast my GST though I know that my opponent would likely edict my Geist on his turn which he did. But other than that, he didn’t do much on his turn and passed again. I drew a delver on my turn and decided to land the second Geist which I had and decided to just keep the delver so I can discard it in case my opponent plusses the deathmage again. And as was expected, he decided to use the first ability again rather than having my GST edicted. I discarded the Delver I drew on my previous turn and I forgot what he discarded in turn. I think it was a land then he passed his turn. On my turn, I attacked Liliana with my Geist while the Angel attacked him which he doombladed.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

The Liliana went to the bin. He then drew a Nihil Spellbomb which he used to exile my graveyard thinking he could mitigate my Pike’s power though I was not worried about it since I already had boarded out my Pike. Sometime in the game, I played a Hero of Bladehold which made short work of him.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“Finishes the opponent off”

Sideboard Plan:

-2 Runechanter’s Pike, -1 Mutagenic Growth, -4 Gut Shot, -1 Vapor Snag, +2 Spectral Flight, +3 Hero of Bladehold, +2 Negate, +1 Divine Offering

My Thoughts:

I think the right play on game one was to play a third turn Geist regardless of him holding a slag storm. It would have slowed him down a turn at the least before he was able to cast a series of Desperate Ravings. I decided to board in my Heroes without boarding out my Angels since I wanted to increase my threat density against his deck that has a lot of mass removal. Though my opponent thought that I should have discarded my second Geist than the land I was holding when he used Liliana’s first ability on the 2nd game, my decision in keeping the two Geists proved his Liliana’s undoing. However, it could have been different if I did not draw a land the turn after discarding from Liliana.

ROUND 4: VS INFECT 2-1

Game 1:

Was not much of a fight on my opponent’s end. It didn’t even last for five minutes. The most that I remember was that he landed an Inkmoth Nexus, and then cast a Wild Defiance. Doesn’t really matter what I drew on my turn but after I passed my turn he drew a Revenge of the Hunted and paid the miracle cost instead and targeted an activated Inkmoth with it, making it a 7/7 flying creature with infect and since it got targeted by a spell, the Wild Defiance triggered as well giving the Inkmoth Nexus +3/+3 making it a horrendous 10/10 infect creature which went into the red zone unopposed. Ending game one just like that.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“10 infect counter on the third turn. Felt like modern.”

Game 2:

If I remember correctly, I kept a hand with a Delver, and a couple of cantrips and lands. And again, for some reason, this is one of those match ups that I don’t quite remember a lot of. As far as I know, I had a flipped delver whittling his life away while I killed off his infect dorks with a series of gut shots. I eventually landed a Geist of Saint Traft which didn’t take long to finish the second game. In fact, I even remembered his life dropping down to 1 and my opponent asking me if I had a gut shot or anything which can finish him off. Unfortunately I didn’t but he still decided to scoop.

Game 3:

Opponent went first and played a forest and passed the turn. I drew a probe and probed my opponent’s hand seeing a couple of lands, an Apostle’s Blessing, An Ichorclaw Myr, and I think there were two Wild Defiance as well as a Mutagenic Growth. Unfortunately, it didn’t get me an Island so I had to play my Glacial Fortress tapped before passing the turn. He decided to play an Ichorclaw Myr and passed the turn. On my turn, I played a Delver and snagged the Ichorclaw Myr putting him down to 19.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“Oooh, interesting…”

On his turn,he decided to play two Glistener Elves rather than replay his Ichorclaw Myr. Fortunately for me, my Delver became an Insectile Aberration and started whittling his life, putting him down to 16. I played my third land and I think I Snapcasted the Probe I have in my graveyard. He reveals a couple of Inkmoth Nexus and his instants that he hasn’t used yet as well as a Ranger’s Guile which I took note of. I then passed the turn.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“Whittles away the opponent’s life”

He drew and decided to not attack and played his second Wild Defiance instead before passing his turn. I drew a Hero which I decided to play and decided not to attack this time since a counter-attack from him could prove my undoing. I decided to wait and see what he would do on his turn before I did anything.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

However, he also chose not to attack and passed the turn after playing an Inkmoth Nexus. I drew and I already forgot what it was but if I was not mistaken, I had a Vapor Snag in my hand. Anyway, I really can’t remember much of what happened after except that he decided to eventually attack with two of his Glistener Elves and I flashed a Restoration Angel which he did not respond to and declared my blockers. I had my Snapcaster Mage blocked one of the elves in which he decided to Mutagenic Growth it to keep it alive, killing my mage. For some reason, he got frustrated because I already had declared my blockers and my opponent seemed to have forgotten that he has an Apostle’s blessing in hand.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“You shall not pass!”

As far as I remember, his life went down to 1 again after a counterattack from my Hero of Bladehold. And though he decided to attack with an Inkmoth Nexus, pumping it up with his Apostle’s Blessing and the triggered effects of the two Wild Defiance, I decided to take the whole 7 infect damage knowing that the only card he has left in hand was an Ichorclaw Myr which was of no threat to me. It came to the point that I didn’t have any gut shot in hand to finish him off but he eventually extended his hand.

Sideboard Plan:

-2 Runechanter’s Pike, -1 Mutagenic Growth, -3 Mana Leak, +3 Hero of Bladehold, +2 Spectral Flight,+1 Divine Offering

My Thoughts:

I had to admit that I had the urge to go aggressive on my opponent on game two despite the fact that I could end up dead if he counter-attacked. It took discipline and patience just to keep myself from attacking, knowing the possibility of dying from a swing from him. The good thing though is that it proved to be a good decision in the end. When up against an infect deck, you cannot be too careful especially if the opponent has a lot in hand. Make sure that you do your math well or else you may end up dead just because of a slight miscalculation. And there would be times that you shouldn’t wait for your opponent’s turn to get rid of his creatures. Its neat to be able to kill off their creatures during their turn so you get to untap on your turn but then again, doing so can prove fatal.

 FINAL ROUND: VS WOLF RUN RAMP 2-1

Game 1:

I got to play first and had a probe in hand which I used to check what’s happening on my opponent’s side. He revealed a hand consisting of a Green Sun Zenith, a Slag Storm, A Solemn Simulacrum and some lands. I played my first land and cast Delver of Secrets before passing the turn. The following turns were just about me playing my Geist of St.Traft which he responded to with a Slagstorm on his turn. He then played Solemn and eventually ramped enough for him to play a Green Sun Zenith to call a Primeval Titan to the board followed by two lonely robots on the next few turns. It didn’t take long before I decided to concede knowing that it is an unwinnable match up.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

Game 2:

The first few turns involved me having a flipped Delver eating away at his life for like two consecutive turns bringing him down to 14. He played a Glimmerpost which got him up to fifteen followed by a Thragtusk getting him back to a healthy 19 life. Good thing I had a Phantasmal Image to mitigate his threat, and net myself 5 life. He attacked with the beast which I decided to block with my Image, killing both beasts and leaving each one of us a beast token. However, I snagged his token putting him down to 18.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“Images Thragtusk”

Before I attacked with my beast token, I was deciding between putting a Spectral Flight on my token or play a Hero of Bladehold. I eventually decided to go for a Hero because I wanted to finish the game right away while there’s not much going on in his end. I attacked with my beast token before passing the turn dropping his life to 15. Besides, I didn’t want him to see that I had a Spectral Flight instead of the Pike which he was expecting since he had an Ancient Grudge in hand as well as two lands, thanks to a timely Gitaxian Probe.

Unfortunately, he seems to have lost some momentum and eventually passed the turn. I then attacked with my Hero of Bladehold along with the soldier and beast tokens for a whopping 11 damage which brought him down to 4 life before I passed the turn. After taking a peek on his next card, we’re on the next game.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“You wouldn’t want this to happen to you”

Game 3:

I kept a one lander with a leak in hand as well as a Delver and some cantrips. He played his first land and added a Birds of Paradise on the battlefield. I played a first turn Delver then passed the turn. He didn’t do anything on his second turn other than a land drop.

Fortunately for me, I had a natural second turn flipped Delver which started to race away. Since I knew he had a Solemn Simulacrum in his hand, I left some open mana. He went down to 17 on that turn after I attacked him with my Delver and then passed. And as expected, he played the lonely robot on his third turn after playing a Glimmerpost, which got him back to 18, thanks to the acceleration provided by his Birds of Paradise. However, I had a leak in hand which ditched the robot to his graveyard.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“The Robot got leaked”

I attacked again on my third turn putting him down to 15 before playing a Geist of St.Traft then passed the turn. My opponent drew and played his fourth land, tapping his four lands to drop a Huntmaster of the Fells, netting him 2 life, which brought him back to 17. He passed the turn afterwards.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

I played my fourth land and decided to attack with my Geist of St.Traft as well as my Delver. He blocked my Geist with his wolf token while the angel and the Insectile Aberration went unopposed, getting him down to 10 life. I didn’t know if it’s a misplay or not but I allowed my GST to be killed even though I had a Restoration Angel in hand which I can use to save my Geist. Never the less, I shrugged and just replaced it with a Hero of Bladehold instead before passing the turn.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

My opponent played a tapped Copperline Gorge before casting another lonely robot before he passed the turn. I drew and played my fifth land before deciding to attack with my Hero and Delver. He chump blocked my Hero with both his Solemn Simulacrum and his Hunmaster and this time, I flashed my Restoration Angel and saved it, leaving my Insectile Aberration and the two white soldier tokens running through the red zone. He went down to 2 after the attack before I decided to pass my turn, hoping that he has no miracle bonfire.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“The Angel Saves the Hero”

Unfortunately for him, he didn’t draw an answer. He thought for a while before deciding to attack with his robot and the werewolf. I looked at my life and saw that I was still at 20 so I decided to just take it dropping me down to 16. He eventually decided to gamble and cast a Slagstorm, killing my Insect, and the two soldiers, leaving my Hero and Angel with a couple of bruises. His robot died and nets him a card but unfortunately, that was it for him. He extended his hand afterwards and the game was settled.

My opponent asked me what the last four cards I was holding and I revealed a Hero of Bladehold, two Snapcaster Mage and one Mana Leak. His friend just stood there shaking his head saying that I was fully loaded with threats.

Grixis, Infect and Wolf Run Ramp Match Up

“Fully Loaded”

Sideboard Plan:

-2 Runechanter’s Pike, -1 Mutagenic Growth, -4 Gut Shot, -2 Mental Misstep, +2 Spectral Flight, +3 Hero of Bladehold, +1 Divine Offering, +2 Phantasmal Image, +1 Sleep

My Thoughts:

I’d say that this was probably one of my most memorable match ups and honestly, I was not really expecting to be up against a Wolf Run Ramp deck. Furthermore, I think that if my opponent miracle a bonfire, it could have been different. I’d say that I was lucky that he didn’t land any titans because I didn’t have any answer to it. The only thing I was reflecting on in particular was the part where I allowed my GST to die. I had open mana which I could’ve used to flash my Angel. Apparently, the decision to let the GST die and playing the Hero on that same turn was correct since I was able to put more pressure on him.

TO SUM IT ALL UP:

Though I was not able to get the top spot, I was happy that I am able to get the top 4 slot. And I was also extremely lucky that my tie-breaks were good enough to get me a prerelease pass for the upcoming Return to Ravnica. Overall, it was great and the experience gave me more confidence in the way I play the game. I am looking forward in playing more and winning more!

image credit to: http://gatherer.wizards.com, collectorscache.com

ROUND 2: VS DELVER 0-2

 Game 1:

I don’t really remember much of game one except for the fact that I had to mulligan down to six since my seven did not have any lands with it. The hand of six I had consists of an island, moorland, a hero, and two GST and I think there was a delver and a probe. Or was it just one geist or just the probe without the delver? I think it was the latter. I kept the hand because I only needed one white source so I could put up my offense and I was hoping that the probe in my hand could help me dig a bit deeper. Unfortunately, though the probe got me some ponders, it did not get me any lands and my opponent eventually put a pike in play followed by a Snapcaster Mage. He was able to ponder enough to establish his board position.

“T’would be nice if I had a land to play this…”

The funny thing was that it took me like two probes or was it three? But it did not get me any lands and I was stuck in two lands for the remainder of the early game and even though I got  a land later on, it was an island which I didn’t need since I won’t be able to cast Geist with that kind of mana. Needless to say, the game quickly moved to the next.

ROUND 2:  VS DELVER 0-2

“Gitaxian Probe + Ponder = No lands”

Game 2:

And again, my apologies since I am unable to remember much of game two except that my opponent played an Augur which was beating me for quite a couple of turns. And since I didn’t have much to ponder even though I shuffled, I was forced to image his Augur which revealed two lands and a divine offering to my dismay. When he landed a Restoration Angel, I copied it with my second image. I was able to eventually kill the attacking Restoration Angel with mine thanks to the help of a gut shot. Sadly, I was not able to stop my opponent from playing a Tamiyo which I knew he had from the beginning thanks to a Gitaxian Probe.

“Tried to Swing…”

ROUND 2:  VS DELVER 0-2

“Blocked by an Angel and Gut Shot”

With Tamiyo online, he was able to kill off my restoration copy. Though I was able to kill it eventually with the help of some spirit tokens, I was already way behind. He eventually played two pikes and equipped a snapcaster and eventually killed me with it.

“Killed my Restoration Image…”

For some reason, I was not able to able to put up a decent fight against another mirror but I shrugged the frustration anyway while waiting for the pairings for the third round. And frankly, me and Liz haven’t had lunch yet so it may also be the reason why we’re not able to put up a decent performance during the second round.

Sideboard Plan: Same as round 1

A Tournament Report on 09/15/12

I woke up at around 9:30am and honestly, I had a hard time getting up since I slept at around 2-3am last night. Regardless, I pushed myself up so I could prep up for today’s tournament which was scheduled at around 12:30pm at Regran located in Ortigas, Eton Cyberpod. Liz really wanted to play today especially that Return To Ravnica Pre-release passes are at stake. Since I promised to accompany her to participate in today’s tourney, I moved my ass as fast as I could.

And as expected whenever a person is rushing, life makes sure that you are punished for not moving your ass fast. The jeep that I took from my place took a lot of detours to avoid the flooded areas, which I refer to as “Terramorphic Exploration”, thanks to the continuous raining. I could have sworn that the jeep I rode even found its way back to where we started and I don’t know why or how the hell we ended up like that. And that consumed precious 45 minutes of my travel which was enough for me to arrive late.

Now, imagine that there’s a jeepney somewhere in that expanse.

I got to Robinsons Galleria at around 1 in the afternoon feeling a bit frustrated and saddened that I was late since I have Liz’s deck with me. I was pretty sure she’d be disappointed again since the last time we tried to join a tourney, we arrived late. As I was heading towards Eton, I was surprised to see Liz calling me on my mobile. She told me that we can still make it and the tournament organizer was willing to wait since I was almost there. And that she was unable to text me since her phone’s fucked up again. Although for some reason, I had mixed feelings about joining the tournament since my mind was already conditioned to just have lunch with Liz and go home. And admittedly, I was already feeling lazy at that time, not to mention that we haven’t eaten anything since we got there. :p

“This would’ve been good at that time.”

Nevertheless, we both registered, oh, let me correct myself; I registered, since Liz already registered while waiting for me and then I handed the Naya Pod Deck to her. As soon as I arrived there, pairings for the first round were up. And I was up against the expected Delver Mirror. Anyway, here’s the list I used:

UW Delver

Lands: 19                                                                        Sideboard: 15

4 Glacial Fortress                                                           3 Celestial Purge

8 Island                                                                            1 Divine Offering

2 Moorland Haunt                                                          3 Hero of Bladehold

1 Plains                                                                             1 Mutagenic Growth

4 Seachrome Coast                                                         2 Negate

                                                                                           2 Phantasmal Image

Creatures: 15                                                                    1 Sleep

4 Delver of Secrets                                                           2 Spectral Flight

4 Geist of Saint Traft

3 Restoration Angel

4 Snapcaster Mage

Spells: 26

1 Dismember

3 Gitaxian Probe

3 Gut Shot

3 Mana Leak

2 Mental Misstep

1 Mutagenic Growth

4 Ponder

2 Runechanter’s Pike

3 Thought Scour

4 Vapor Snag

Author’s note: There are some parts of the games which I don’t clearly remember anymore so please do bear with my tournament report.  And the whole tournament report will be divided into subsequent blog posts to save space. Thank you!

image credits: gatherer.wizards.com, redorbit.com

ROUND 1: VS DELVER 2-1

Game 1:

The first few turns started with me and my opponent exchanging ponders. I landed a Geist of St. Traft but he legend-ruled my spirit cleric. My opponent eventually played two Runechanter’s Pike as well as a succession of Snapcaster Mages which eventually got equipped with the Pikes. Since I don’t have any answers to them, we moved to the next game.

Equipped with a Runechanter’s Pike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game 2:

Still, no turn one delver shenanigans from either one of us except for the usual ponders. The thing though with this match up was I was able to get my Geist of St.Traft online. What’s more is that even though he got a phantasmal image online, he decided to just copy my Snapcaster Mage than my Geist. Seeing as this was the case, I decided to put my Spectral Flight on my spirit cleric. It did not take long before my opponent scooped even though he was able to snag the first angel token that attacked him. My opponent was wondering if I have kept my delvers in my 60 since there were no delver’s popping up throughout the first two games.

This, plus the one on the right = GG

Game 3:

I kept a three lander hand with three delvers and one phantasmal image. My opponent casts a first turn ponder while I on the other hand, drew something, not sure if it was a probe but anyway, I played my first turn delver but it got misstepped. On his second turn, he chose to just drop a land and pass the turn (or did he play a Pike???). On my turn, I played another delver which gut shot dead then threw in my last delver in hand before passing the turn. And luckily, the delver survived. My opponent decided to play his spirit cleric which I legend-ruled on my turn with a Phantasmal Image of my own. And as far as I remembered, he was able to get a Snapcaster Mage online which I sent to the bin with a gut shot. He eventually got another mage online, while filtering his deck using a couple of Thought Scours since he does not have any ponders in his graveyards.

“Three of this is dangerous to your (opponent’s)health”

It actually spelled troubled to me since its fueling his pike. Good thing though that my Delver-turned- Insectile Aberration was already eating his life away for three consecutive turns which dropped him below 9 or so, not to mention the life loss he took from the misstep and gut shot in the earlier turns.  Furthermore, I had dead bodies to feed my Moorland haunt which greatly helped in keeping a pike-equipped mage at bay for like two turns which was enough for me to establish an offense with a Restoration Angel.

  

 

Though he attempted to snag my angel, I misstepped it and he responded with a leak. Fortunately for me, I was holding another Mental Misstep which I used to ditch his snag, paying two more life in the process, keeping my Angel in the battlefield. I brought his life down to a critical 4 when I attacked with my Spectral Flight-enchanted Angel.

This sealed the deal.

“countered…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately for him, he only had 8 spells in his graveyard which was not enough to kill me on his turn and even the card he drew did not help him in any way. And even though his mage got through, it was only for a total of 10 damage which brought my life down to 1 and I’ll be swinging for 5 on my turn which was enough to make him extend his hand.

Sideboard Plan:

-2 Runechanter’s Pike, -1 Thought Scour, -1 Mutagenic Growth, +2 Spectral Flight, – +2 Phantasmal Image

My Thoughts:

The 2nd game would’ve last longer if my opponent copied my Geist instead of my Snapcaster Mage. I do understand that he is looking for ways to get ahead but then again, if you do not have anything on the board and the opposing board has a serious threat, a Geist of Saint Traft, you should answer it whenever possible. I also prefer boarding out my pikes on the following games since I am assuming that they have boarded in artifact removal. That would make it a dead card which is already an advantage. Besides, most Delver decks out there often do not have any answers on cards like Spectral Flight and having Spectral Flight post board and putting it on an online GST is really a powerful move.

image credits: gatherer.wizards.com

A LONELY EVENING…

I had just finished the articles that Liz assigned to me a couple of days ago unfortunately, due to the lack of internet connection; we’re unable to post it on their respective blogs. Apparently, SMART has a network problem since whenever I try to connect online, I keep on getting the following error message:

The connection was terminated by the remote computer blah blah.

And this has been going for almost two days now, meaning two days of no but PAID internet connection. Frankly, I am really disappointed with their service. Lack of internet connection has caused us some serious problems not to mention the fact that this is not a good time to be having no internet access. I just hope SMART could at least extend our unlimited surfing for two more days since I doubt that they have the means to refund the money I paid just to get network connection for 5 days. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d give us a hard time getting compensated for the trouble and it’s more likely that we’ll hear a ton of the usual corporate apologies their agents are trained to say to frustrated and dissatisfied customers than some satisfactory resolution.

“Oh, we’re sorry for the inconvenience sir. Would you like me to undress for you to compensate for the trouble?”

I’ve been in the customer service industry long enough to know corporate bullshit. Anyway, my apologies for the rant it’s just that the continuous rain has been giving me some trouble. Other than the network problem, Liz was unable to return to my place after meeting up with her younger sister at the Gil Puyat LRT terminal. There was no available transportation so she was forced to go home to her place instead without enough preparation. In fact, she was supposed to bring JTMS with her on her way home after having lunch at my place earlier today. But thanks to the bad weather, there was not much transportation which got Liz stranded in Gil Puyat LRT terminal with no other option but to go home to her place in Pasig instead.

Well, maybe not…

It was not that bad except for the fact that she has my mobile unit with her since she had her SMART sim card inserted in my mobile unit the reason being that her cell phone has some trouble sending messages. And since the SMART broadband can’t even send a text message I had to rely on my younger brother’s mobile unit instead. Good thing my younger brother’s cell phone unit was registered to a globe texting promo which allowed me to keep in touch with Liz. As soon as I was sure that Liz got home safely, I decided to sleep since there was nothing productive to do.

I woke up at around six in the evening and decided to have dinner before opening up Chandler so that I could start working on the articles. Unfortunately, the internet was still fucked up so I just decided to watch some random anime stored in Chandler. Good thing that Liz was able to get the topics of the articles which I needed to work on while she was in the office. As soon as I finished watching, I immediately worked on the articles. I decided to listen to some music as I accomplished the tasks. It was already past midnight when I finished everything but I was not yet tired of listening to one particular song. I am not really sure what the song’s title was but I find it melancholic and nostalgic at the same time. I even wrote the song’s lyrics on my notepad. It was just unfortunate that I was not able to find the more completed song. And the song is in Japanese and it came from the movie 20th Century Boys. It’s one of the best movies I watched so far. I am even planning to write a blog post about it one of these days.

“Keeeenji-kun, asobi mashou!”

 But right now we’re just hoping that we’ll be able to post the finished articles before the deadline without much trouble. I just hope that Liz gets here soon since it’s started to rain real hard again.

image credits: www.ultimoslibros.com, thepinoywanderer.blogspot.com, www.thank-you-mr-president.trailertheater.com

JUST A SHORT WEATHER REPORT…..

It is already 5:31 in the morning and the rain has not stopped one bit. It is not looking good outside. The water is slowly rising. Furthermore, water was slowly seeping out of the shower room’s drainage where it normally does not happen. It only means that the sewage system has seriously gotten flooded. Not a good sign. The truth was that the weather has been like this for almost a week. I can’t really remember when exactly but it has been raining non-stop with literally just a few moments of sunlight passing through before raining again big time.

courtesy of: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com

And just as I am writing this particular entry, the rain just suddenly poured down again real hard. The rain did lessened a while ago but then again, it was only for a short while before it poured real badly again. If it continues like this for another day or two and I mean, literally raining for a whole 24-48 hour, it won’t be long before this place becomes part of the Pacific Ocean. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating. The North Bay in this place’s case…Other parts of city have all but become flooded and it is just a matter of time…So much for my plans to play at Titan Libis’ Game Day event later tonight. Not that it would matter if the aforementioned statements came true.

For the meantime, I’ll probably go outside to buy some freshly-baked bread, probably trudging on the flooded streets, while keeping the big raindrops off my head with my umbrella.

courtesy of: turningboholano.blogspot.com

SOME WEATHER UPDATES….

August 7th, 2012, 6:54am, I still haven’t bought any freshly-baked bread since Liz was still busy with Chandler. And yes, the rain hasn’t stopped yet nor does it look like it will for the next few hours. With this kind of bad weather, I am doubtful that I would be able to participate in the Game Day tournament in Libis later this evening. I mean, I’d love to but not a practical one to make right now, especially that it’s almost a two hour travel from where I live. I could only hope for a better weather but right now, it doesn’t look like it will change for the better.

“If the rain doesn’t stop, we’re fucked.”

image credits to: jarlgamonez.com