Whew… Been a busy few months, and I have barely been able to put up a decent post. But I hope to turn that around and dial up the productivity again. I’ve really only been doing the bare minimum of what I should be doing, and trying to pace myself, spend a bit of time on recreation, in between family, work, and work. In an effort to avoid getting burnt out. My workload has been growing quite a bit, and is becoming a task of herculean proportions. It’s a great problem to have, but I have to learn to manage myself better, pace myself and stay organized. It’s inevitable that a few things will slip through the cracks, but I hate that it happens.
The real cost of doing what you love for a living is that the line between your work and your personal life becomes blurred, then it disappears entirely, until it just turns into “what you do”, then “what you are”, and eventually you realize you have become a “Slave to the Muse” and everything you do becomes part of the expression, part of the being of creation that a person becomes as they follow the path of the artist. Like anything else, it can often seem glamorous, magical and desirable to be an artist, and in some ways it is, that’s why we do what we do. But once you get a good look behind the curtain, and work there, and become the responsible party for all that magic and glamour. You will understand why many artists are insane, or at least very odd. Usually, this is because we’ve seen too much, and there is no turning back….
We have to "Be the bunny". But then there are time when it's time to unplug and enjoy ones self, to recharge, as it were.
Even though, most of what I do for entertainment and escape is typical; movies, news, a book from time to time - I don’t read as much as I used to tho… and I don’t play a lot of videogames, a bit of PSP when it isn’t lost, more Minecraft these days. It all turns into a "project". Then there is my favorite of all games, Magic: The Gathering. A customizable card game that is constantly evolving andinvolves a dynamic strategy that requires focused troubleshooting, problem solving and forward thinking skills, as well as the ability to understand probability and how to be adaptive to random chance. And the art on the cards are just badass. I have been consumed by this game at times, and it has also kept me out of trouble. I have been inspired by and referenced Magic Card art many times for tattoo designs and other work. It’s a personal dream of mine to do some magic card art. Maybe someday I will get the opportunity. Until then, I do from time to time make my own fake magic cards, and am working on a small story based Magic expansion for my own personal enjoyment. (the pull of the creative being, drives me to turn all the stuff I enjoy into “projects”, I don’t do this in a voluntary way, it just happens, where I will spend days or weeks caught up in some story idea in my head or a visual concept, or magic card, or a movie, book, or comic idea… I have just never been able to shut off the flow of ideas… my problem is that I seem to always have too many ideas!) I have sketchbooks and idea journals all over the place, someday I imagine my collection of ideas and images will be like the one in the opening scene of se7en, just not as crazy.…
So that is what I am getting to, the actual intent of today’s post… Magic: The Gathering. Magic is likely to become a regular part of the blog, though not a focus. One of those options I have to pick from when figuring out what I want to post for the week.
I love this game, as I have explained above. And I have a lot of my own theories and ideas about the game. I’ve been playing it since 1993, since the beginning, and it has only gotten better. I did stop playing for about ten years, caught up in life, work, and ambition, but got back into the game with some influence from my friends who were getting back into the game themselves or just starting to play more often. They call it “cardboard crack” for a reason, as it is very addictive.
For those readers that are not familiar with the game, or are not particularly interested, this is probably where you get off. This is when I whip my Dork out, and I warn you, it’s big.
I have been working on a post specifically about Magic, and my own theories and strategies. But I have to rewrite it a few more times. And that’s not what this post it. I pretty much just wanted to post a decklist of one of my favorite Decks, and share a bit of my love of the game.
This Deck is Called BloodBane, and it’s gone through more than a few modifications, and will likely go through more. The first versions had more vampires, and knights, as a kind of Tribal Deck. So This one I will call v1.2.
Colors: Black and White
Cards: 60 – Control-Combo
Creatures (18) Land (24)
Blood Seeker – 2 Swamp – 11
Vampire Nighthawk – 3 Plains – 9
Kitesail Apprentice – 2 Evolving Wilds – 2
Lone Missionary – 2 Kabira Crossroads – 1
Suture Priest – 2 Piranha Marsh – 1
Gravedigger – 2
Brass Squire – 2
Stoneforge Mystic – 2 Artifacts (5)
Baneslayer Angel- 1* Sword of Feast and Famine – 1
Sword of Vengeance – 1
Spells (13) Whispersilk Cloak – 2
Disfigure – 4
Doomblade – 2
Undying Evil – 2
Suffer the Past – 1
Journey to Nowhere – 2
Sunspring Expedition – 1
Quest for the Holy Relic - 1
Concept: A low cost, quick start control deck, with aggressive tendencies. This version uses what I have on hand to fill it out with a bit of synergy cards to make up for other cards that would be here if I had them. More on that below.
Win Condition: Attacking with Creature Equipped with Argentum Armor, either Sword and Whispersilk Cloak. Suffer the Past to finish off opponent.
Play Strategy: Limit your opponent’s field of creatures while assembling the combo needed to build an unstoppable attacker. The deck only has one heavy, and a few midrange creatures, so whatever gets out has to be the guy, or if he doesn’t survive, then move the equipment to the next guy. Attack every turn, unless there is no advantage. It’s better to kill your opponents creature than keep your own. Once a Stoneforge Mystic gets in your hand, hold it until you are positioned to pull off the combo, hopefully with a Brass Squire ready to attach an equipment card as well. ALWAYS use the Mystic or the Quest of the Holy Relic to fetch the Argentum armor, unless you already have it in hand. The best way to pull the combo is to take two turns or less to set it up, limiting the amount of response time your opponent has to break your combo.
The life gaining effect in the deck is used to buy a bit of time, while working out the right cards, other than your combo creatures, don’t hesitate to attack, or block. Even if the creature dies, you need to keep your opponents battlefield empty the best you can. Hold a Gravedigger to get that good creature back if you have to. A costly but usefull defense strategy is to use the gravediggers on themselves, to ensure you have a creature to put down when you need to.
This has been my strongest deck in modern since getting back into the game, it has it’s weakness, specifically dick(direct) damage decks, and it has no way to deal with enchantments or artifacts, but to compensate, I try to run the deck as fast as it can go. If you plan to copy it, or modify it, keep that in mind.
I know this deck can be cut down to the Rule of Nine. However, I prefer using ten slots instead of nine, especially in a deck with such a low mana curve, the deck needs very little land to function, having been able to win with only three lands played. But I just don’t have all the cards yet to round it out to a “perfect deck”
This is the version I would do though if I had all the right cards: The 20-20-20 split seems to work well for this concept.
Colors: Black and White
Cards: 60 – Control-Combo
Creatures (20) Land (20)
Brass Squire – 4 Swamp – 7
Vampire Nighthawk – 4 Plains – 7
Kitesail Apprentice – 4 Evolving Wilds – 2
Gravedigger – 4 Kabira Crossroads – 2
Stoneforge Mystic – 4 Piranha Marsh – 2
Spells (14) Artifacts (6)
Quest for the Holy Relic – 4 Argentum Armor -2
Disfigure – 4 Sword of Vengeance – 1
Journey to Nowhere – 2 Whispersilk Cloak – 2
Suffer the Past – 2 Sword of Feast and Famine – 1
Doomblade – 2
I use the cards I have, and prefer to build my stock from buying packs versus singles. Though I do buy singles from time to time, I like the self imposed handicap. And enjoy the excitement of “finding” bad ass cards. Though I am just a casual player, and have never played a tournament, though I have been thinking about it. I do think of myself as being pretty good at Magic, though nothing close to some of the top world players.
Thanks for reading!
Next week will be something tattoo related. We’re overdue for a Collector Spotlight.