First Impressions: Galilei Donna

First Impressions: Galileo DonnaGalileo Donna is an interesting anime which is a story about three sisters namely Hozuki, Kazuki and Hazuki, who are descendants of Galileo Galilei. And the first impression I have for it is that it gives me a Disney cartoon feel for some reason and this may be because the protagonists are three sisters living normal lives of their own then being suddenly chased by a mysterious organization who’s looking for something that their great ancestor Galileo discovered.

Somehow, the anime plot is reminiscent of some of Disney’s cartoons like Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet and some more. Honestly, I am not really sure how to express the idea as of the moment but yeah, watching the anime made me feel like I am watching some sort of Disney cartoon.

First Impressions: Galileo Donna

The artwork on the other hand is decent and acceptable for my personal standards as compared to Aoki Hagane no Perpreggio: Ars Nova. This is not to say that the latter’s artwork is below my taste but then again, I prefer the former’s art style. The anime also reminds of a shoot ‘em up game called Darius because of the fish-shaped spacecrafts. Overall, the anime seems to be cooking something that will pique the interest of audience who enjoy watching adventure-themed anime.

First Impressions: Galileo Donna

First Impressions: Galileo Donna

First Impressions: Galileo Donna

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: The Pantheon of Theros Part 1

I was supposed to write an article about the five gods of Theros yesterday but then again I wasn’t feeling well. In fact, I just posted my article about Stormbreath Dragon earlier this afternoon wherein it should have been posted yesterday evening. Good thing is that I am feeling a lot better as compared to yesterday and I hope that I won’t fall sick again especially that tomorrow’s already Saturday and I don’t want to spend my weekend bed-ridden or anything.

Without further ado, here are the gods worshiped in the plane of Theros.

 

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: The Pantheon of Theros Part 1

“No. They’re not the power rangers.”

Each color is represented by one god, with each of them having the indestructibility characteristic as well as the new Theros mechanic devotion. So how does devotion work anyway? Devotion is similar to the old mechanic chroma which was initially introduced in Eventide wherein it checks the number of a specific mana symbol of a permanent. However, it only checks the mana symbols on the permanent’s mana cost on the upper right hand side of the card and this determines how powerful a card’s ability is. A good example of this is the Eventide card Primalcrux.

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: The Pantheon of Theros Part 1

“Scary? You ain’t seen nothin yet.”

Devotion, on the other hand, checks the total number of a particular mana symbol on the mana cost of all permanents on the battlefield before a certain effect is achieved. Let’s take a look at Heliod, God of the Sun as an example:

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: The Pantheon of Theros Part 1

Its text read “As long as your devotion to white is less than five, Heliod is not a creature (Each W in the mana costs of permanents you control counts toward your devotion to white)”. This means that the only way for you to make Heliod a creature is to have a number of permanents on the battlefield having a total white mana cost of five or more. So this can be in any combination of creatures, or enchantments as long as they have the white mana symbol on their mana costs. You can trigger the devotion mechanic by having a Boros Reckoner in play and a Precinct Captain in play. You can also trigger the devotion mechanic with a Detention Sphere, and a Boros reckoner since Heliod also counts itself as a permanent having a white mana cost symbol. Now, remember that devotion is a state-based effect and if at any time the number of permanents you control having the white mana symbols becomes less than five, then Heliod will revert to being just an enchantment instead of being a creature AND an enchantment. So, if for example you attacked with a devotion-triggered Heliod and then suddenly, your Boros Reckoner gets killed mid-combat, effectively reducing your devotion count to less than five, then Heliod will be removed from combat and reverts back to being only an enchantment. It’s not really that confusing if you’re going to think about it.

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: The Pantheon of Theros Part 1

“Yep. That’s already five white mana symbols”

Moving forward, of all the gods spoiled so far, my favorite would have to be this:

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: The Pantheon of Theros Part 1

“That’s no little mermaid for sure.”

Okay. Maybe the blue mage inside me  is getting the best of me but then again, for only 2U, you get to Scry 1 for free every upkeep! Okay, fine. Maybe I am overreacting here but the thing is, how long has it been since blue had a way to constantly filter their top decks? And the thing is that you can play this card as soon as the third turn and what makes it good is that it’s hard to get rid off since it’s indestructible. Imagine having a turn two Omenspeaker and then playing this next. That’s already scrying for three all in all and also you get to choose to keep the top card before drawing it or putting it at the bottom of your library. Scry 1 may not be impressive at first but it stacks as the game goes on.

Her second ability is also nothing to scoff at and is even better than putting a Spectral Flight on your creature. Furthermore,  as soon as you are able to trigger devotion, your opponent can be sure that he or she will be taking a beating every turn unless he or she is able to deal with some of your blue permanents. And take note, 5 damage is nothing to sneeze at. Even if the devotion mechanic is not triggered, making a creature unblockable is a neat trick. The deck that I am visualizing the most that would make good use of Thassa would obviously be the blue-based contol decks. However, seeing that the UG scry land has already been spoiled makes me think that some sort of Bant or UG ramp deck may be able to effectively make use of Thassa.

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: The Pantheon of Theros Part 1

“Yes. Him again.”

Heliod, God of the Sun is another interesting card from Theros and was also one of the mythic rares spoiled that got my attention. In addition to his godly qualities, Heliod can chunk out 2/1 creatures that counts as both an enchantment and creature. Now, these creatures being enchantments may not mean much at first glance but then again,, if you start thinking of cards that care about enchantments like Ethereal Armor or even Oath of the Ancient Wood in M14, then these creatures being an enchantment becomes more interesting. Sure, the cost to activate Heliod’s token generating ability is a bit costly but then again, it gives you a late game advantage and gives you a place to sink your mana. Remember how the old Counter Post deck wins its games?

This card may serve a purpose in a blue and white-based control deck though it will probably compete with Jace, Architect of Thought for the four mana cost slot. Not to mention we still have Gideon, Champion of Justice who also has the same mana cost as Heliod. Now, this is not to say that Gideon would likely be filling up the four mana slot in such a deck since in my opinion, Jace is a far better card in that slot, or perhaps even Heliod. But who knows? I am just trying to imagine how things would be in the new Standard environment. On a serious note, triggering Heliod’s devotion mechanic is made easier if you have Boros Reckoner and such an idea suggest a mono-white mid-rangey deck. These are only ideas but I think they’re worth exploring.

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: The Pantheon of Theros Part 1

When Purphoros, God of the Forge was initially spoiled, my initial reaction was nothing short of the comment below:

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: The Pantheon of Theros Part 1

However, after reading Adrian Sullivan’s evaluation, and discovering that the price of Purphoros has increased to $25 in a span of a few days, and only has 33 stocks left in Starcitygames as compared to the rest of the cards in the set, I decided to carefully reevaluate Purphoros. I mean, I know I may be wrong but at the end of the day, it still remains to be seen. One reason Liz and I plan to proxy up some cards one of these days and see if this card is really feasible. Now, this is not to say that the other people are making a mistake too and I know I am no pro and still have a lot to learn but I guess I still would like to see how consistent it is and how it will actually impact standard post-rotation.

Setting aside my initial impression on Purphoros, like with Heliod, triggering the devotion mechanic on this card is pretty easy. Imagine this curve:

T1: Rakdos Cackler

T2: Burning-Tree Emissary > Firefist Striker

T3: Hammer of Purphoros

T4: Purphoros, God of the Forge

That’s already 7 red mana symbols which are more than enough to give the god of the forge the ability to manifest into the mortal realm and wreak havoc on your opponent on the 4th turn. If you’ve noticed, we didn’t even rely on a third turn Boros Reckoner to turn Purphoros into a creature. If we’re going to think about it, it DOES make sense to put Purphoros in a mono-red deck, provided that it is designed to be able to potentially trigger the devotion mechanic of the god of the forge as well as push damage consistently to the opponent.

With regard to his secondary ability, I was initially skeptical of it but as what Adrian Sullivan said in his article when he was discussing the implications of having Purphoros in an aggressive red deck.

 

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: The Pantheon of Theros Part 1

 

And he has a point. The damage coming from creatures that enters the battlefield would eventually pile up and can potentially kill the opponent in the long run. Imagine having a Purphoros and a Young Pyromancer on the battlefield and then you throw a let’s say, a Shock EOT of the opponent. That’s already 4 damage the opponent’s going to take! 2 damage from the shock and plus 2 more coming from the elemental token that will enter the battlefield thanks to the triggered ability of the Young Pyromancer as well as Purphoros’ triggered ability. And the thing is that Purphoros is indestructible and this means that the opponent won’t be able to get rid of him that easily. The Dynacharge ability is also a fine mid to late game mana sink, provided you still have creatures to use it for. Overall, I am interested in trying out this card and see how well it will do in the tournament.

Well, that’s it for the meantime. I will cover the remaining two gods in the next article.

Thanks for reading,

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: Stormbreath Dragon

As usual, I immediately checked the spoilers as soon as I got online but the tweets on my twitter account got the best of me and got me looking for two specific cards that were mentioned in some of the tweets namely; Xenagos, the Reveler and Stormbreath Dragon and I find the latter really exhilarating for a lot of reasons. As soon as I finished getting things out of the way at home I immediately went into expressing my thoughts about the new dragon on the block.

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: Stormbreath Dragon

It seems like Wizards of the Coasts has gotten the hang of designing constructed playable dragons and I applaud them for that. Magic has designed countless cards having the dragon creature sub-type with most of them having the standard converted manacost of 6 and above. If my memory serves me correct, the first dragon that saw constructed play was Shivan Dragon.

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: Stormbreath Dragon

It was during the early days of Magic that this creature ruled the skies followed by Serra Angel and some others. And the thing was that if you don’t have any answer to the undisputed master of the mountains of Shiv, the game will gradually slip away from you. Imagine a time when there wasn’t much good creatures for constructed play with only a handful of reliable spot removals mostly limited to black, with the exception of Swords to Plowshares which is a white spot removal. In fact, even though Serra Angel was one of the best creatures in old Standard or Type 1, which was what Standard used to be called, it didn’t have the mettle to survive a rampaging Shivan Dragon. Time went by and expansion design, particularly creatures gradually developed and dragons continued to be printed.

However, dragons are rarely constructed playable primarily because of their high manacost. Only a few notable dragons saw play back then like Rathi Dragon, Volcanic Dragon, Rorix Bladewing and the four primeval dragons namely; Treva, The Renewer, Darigaaz, The Igniter, Crosis the Purger, and Dromar, the Banisher. And even so, not all of these dragons were a four-of in their respective decks.  Crosis, the Purger on the other hand, still sees play up until the present as a general in the Commander format but as for the rest of dragonkind? Not much.

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: Stormbreath Dragon

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: Stormbreath Dragon

“The primeval dragons”

Fast forward to the present and what do we see being played in the current Standard format?

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: Stormbreath Dragon

Yes. A dragon. So what happened? Well…

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: Stormbreath Dragon

That’s what happened and combine it with one of the best abilities that a flying dragon could have which is haste and a decent power and toughness and you got the best ingredients for a constructed playable dragon. Though a lot of people didn’t initially think that Thundermaw Hellkite would see constructed play during the first time it became tournament legal since the metagame environment was all about Primeval Titans rampaging on the opponent’s territory and a certain insectile aberration that has been terrorizing the standard format, it eventually saw play after most of the key pieces of those decks rotated out of standard. But then again, it’s that time of the year again where a block will be rotating out of standard along with a core set and sadly, Thundermaw Hellkite only has a week or two to win games for you before it rotates as well.

Going back to what I was saying earlier, Wizards of the Coast has done a great deal in making dragons more constructed playable. And Stormbreath Dragon is no exception. It may not have the same power and toughness that its hasty predecessor had but its protection from white ability is very relevant. Not only can it dodge an Archangel of Thune, but it can’t be bounced by an Azorius charm nor can it be detained inside a sphere. Though it can killed by mortars, you still gain value from it the turn it comes into play, provided that it doesn’t die to a Putrefy or a Doom Blade. On the other hand, if your opponent is sporting white then chances are, it will be a quick clock, especially once the monstrosity mechanic is activated. And what makes it cool is that making it monstrous turns it into a Stormseeker on a stick. This means that if the opponent dare cast an end of turn Sphinx’s Revelation, he might not appreciate the backlash coming from this hasty flyer. And even if the dragon grows into a huge monster, it won’t be killed by a Selesnya Charm thanks to its protection from white. Another great thing about Stormbreath Dragon is that it’s a manasink in situations wherein you find yourself being flooded with lands.

So what decks would Stormbreath Dragon find itself in? I guess it would be any red-based deck with Kibler’s Gruul list being the most obvious home for it, replacing the Thundermaw Hellkite slot. I am also thinking of a Rakdos Aggro build with the dragon being the top of the curve preceded by Exava. It would look something like this:

 

BR Aggro:

Lands: 24

4 Blood Crypt

4 Rakdos Guildgate

8 Mountains

8 Swamps

 

Creatures: 26

4 Ash Zealot

4 Gore-House Chainwalker

4 Hellhole Flailer

3 Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch

4Rakdos Cackler

4 Stormbreath Dragon

3 Thrill-Kill Assassin

 

Spells: 10

2 Dreadbore

2 Doomblade

4 Magma Jet

2 Shock

 

Sadly, we only have Rakdos Cacklers as the best one drop for this deck. I already considered Legion Loyalist and Foundry Street Denizen however, putting Legion seems underwhelming and FSD works better if there’s BTE in the list. The reason I didn’t put BTE in the list is that it feels like the manabase is too unstable for the deck to take advantage of BTE’s ETB. Of course, I could be wrong here. Though I am confident that Theros would have allied lands spoiled soon, I don’t have any information as of yet as what the BR land’s name would be so this manabase, along with a couple of guildgates would have to do for now. How about Kibler’s Gruul Aggro?

RG Aggro

Lands: 24

8 Forest

4 Gruul Guildgate

8 Mountains

4 Stomping Grounds

 

Creatures: 27

4 Elvish Mystic

4 Burning-Tree Emissary

4 Firefist Striker

4 Ghor-Clan Rampager

4 Gore-House Chainwalker

3 Scavenging Ooze

4 Stormbreath Dragon

 

Spells: 9

1 Chandra Pyromaster

4 Domri Rade

4 Magma Jet

 

These lists are far from perfect but then again, they’re the ones I’ve thought of so far and will likely change as more cards are spoiled. If Liz and I can get the chance to play test with some of these cards through the use of proxies, then it will definitely help me evaluate these lists more. Overall, I really found myself speechless when I first saw Stormbreath Dragon and I was like “[insert random profanity] this card is impressive.” Funny thing was I’ve been saying for a while now that I haven’t found a card in Theros that really got me excited and then this happened. As for this card.

Standard Thoughts on Theros Spoiler Season: Stormbreath Dragon

“Wanna join in the fun?”

This will be for another day, the same as with the rest of the god cycle. If in case the fifth god of the set gets spoiled, I’d probably write about the gods first before Xenagos. Well, I guess that’s it for today.

Thanks for reading,

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

P.S.

As of this posting, the complete cycle of Gods and the filter lands have been spoiled but I decided to leave the rest of the deck lists unaltered. I’ll probably posting updated lists on the next batch of articles.

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

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

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

WINNING MY FIRST TOURNAMENT! M13 GAME DAY AT ONGKEKO’S HOBBY SHOP!

I’ve always wanted to experience how it is to win a tournament. In my case, a Magic: The Gathering tournament. I started playing Magic: The Gathering when I was at the age of 14. The game was originally introduced to me by a cousin who brought the first few cards of Magic: The Gathering. Long story short, I got hooked to the point that I would sometimes spend less for a meal or for more necessary items just to be able to save enough money to buy a card which was worth $5. And at that time, a $5 card was already an expensive card to an unemployed 14-year old high school student like me. Unfortunately, due to the unfavorable peso-dollar exchange rate, that same $5 card was hardly an expensive card compared to some of the good cards available in the market today. So even though I am already earning my own money, it did not make much of a difference when it comes to buying cards for my deck. It’s like I am still a high school student saving my daily hundred peso allowance just to get a card worth 500 pesos at the end of the week or so.

The only difference was back when I was young; I was buying cards at to no end except to play with my cousins who also played the game. I did not participate in tournaments then nor did I have any idea of how to construct an effective tournament legal deck. You could say I was really wasting my allowance to something which did not financially or physically benefit me. But then again, so do the people out there who smoke, who drink, who do drugs, or who play arcade games in malls, or even those who gamble or play the lottery. There are just no free hobby nowadays existing huh?

My apology if the topic went a bit off, it is not in my original intentions to start a debate of where to put your money best. Of course where you invest your money on is your own choice and as long as you’re happy where you are investing it and it is beneficial for you then that is good. Moving forward, I can confidently say that this time, my investment towards Magic: The Gathering is paying off.  Just recently, I won first place at the Magic: The Gathering Game Day tournament held in Ongkeko’s Hobby Shop last Friday, August 3rd. It was an exhilarating and memorable experience especially that it was my first time winning a tournament and my first Game Day event at that. Although I had to admit that I could not have won first place if my last opponent had not given me the last match.

Round 4: UW Delver VS. Esper Control

He prefers to give the last game which was enough to win me the round so that we could both benefit from it. It would be a shame if we’re going to end the game on a draw which can potentially lessen our chance of getting a prize at all. The result then was me bagging the first place and in exchange, we’d share the four booster pack prize. As for the top 8 limited edition foil full-art card,, we decided who would get whoever gets the higher die-roll the two of us. Since I won the die roll, I get to keep the top 8 foil card. Unfortunately, the limited edition Magic: The Gathering play mat had to go to the victor between two more top players.

The play mat was originally to be given to the player who gets first place. Since there were a couple of players who did not agree to this because they also wanted to get equal chance to get the play mat, they agreed that whoever ends up having no losses would still have to fight other players who also do not have any  losses for the play mat. And whoever wins against these other players would get the play mat instead. At that time, I was part of the players who hadn’t lost a game which was part of the reason they included me with their proposal. Since I was not really expecting to win the tournament let alone, be given the privilege to have the last match, I agreed with their proposal. Not thinking that I would actually become the grand winner.

M13 Gameday Victor

Had to admit that I somehow regret agreeing with their proposal but then again, it was not expected and I honestly feel that it was not yet the time for me to earn such a reward. Besides, if the match was not given to me by my last opponent, I would not have made first place in the first place (Sounds redundant). Lesson learned here is that I should be more confident that I have the potential to win a tournament so that I need not agree with any sort of similar proposals in the future. However, the victory still made me more determined to win the next Game Day tourney which will be held on Titan’s Hobby Shop located in Eastwood Libis on August 7th, Tuesday. Also so I could take home another Game Day foil card and hopefully, the limited edition play mat for Liz.

Hello world!

I’m online!

– update to follow